November 28, 2015, Bengaluru: In a remarkable example of citizens struggle against vested interests, Shri Venkata Subbarao and RBI Colony Residents waged a determined legal battle for 20 years to reclaim Byrasandra lake! To celebrate and recognize this inspiring victory, Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) in association with Byrasandra Lake Savers (RBI Colony Residents)organized Kere Habba at Byrasandra Lake. The event witnessed the presence of eminent guests such as Sri N. Santosh Hegde-Former Lokayukta and retired judge of the Supreme Court, Sri BN Manjunath Reddy- Mayor, BBMP, and Sri Ramalinga Reddy-Hon’ble Minister for Transport, Karnataka, Smt. Gangambike Mallikarjun-Corporator, Jayanagar Ward, Sri L Raghu-Executive Engineer, BDA and Sri Sathish-Chief Engineer, BBMP.

Sri. N Santosh Hegde looking at the developments near the  lake

Cultural activities- Dollu Kunitha

Mr. Ramalinga Reddy during Byrasandra Kere Puje

Children with Sri. N. Santosh Hedge

The lake fest featured activities ranging from marathon, Kere Pooje procession, Dollu Kunitha, March past by School Children, Cultural activities, Sugama Sangeetha and many more. Residents came together from all walks of like and encompassed activities that truly evoked community participation making it a true blue people’s movement to revive the essence of Bengaluru and its lakes.

Envisaged as a series of lake festivals, Kere Habba intends to bring together people for fun, entertainment, environmental concern, community participation and awareness of local lake issues. The objective of this celebration is to encourage people to connect with their surroundings, explore and participate in preserving it and become a stakeholder in keeping it alive. NBF intends to conduct Kere Habba from 2015-2019 for a period of five years, covering 12 lakes each year and reaching to a total of 60 lakes at the end of 2019. Previously, Kere Habba has been organized at Kaikondrahalli, Puttenahalli, Madivala, Chellakere, Allalasandra and Horamavu.

“Shri Venkata Subbarao and RBI Colony Residents are truly an inspiration for every Bengalurean. 20 years back, a citizen’s movement was started against illegal encroachment of Byrasandra lake and today we are here to recognize and celebrate this inspiring victory. As an organization committed to Better Bengaluru, NBF continues to be the voice of people and encourage and support any citizen centric initiative. With Kere Habba, we relentlessly aim to rejuvenate the lakes in Bengaluru and create awareness about lake restoration “said Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation.

Shri Venkata Subbarao from Byrasandra Lake Savers (RBI Colony Residents) said, “Today, Bengaluru lakes are barely surviving with garbage being dumped, toxic chemicals being let in, inflow of sewage, encroachment, low maintenance and many more. Needless to say, this is directly affecting our health and need of the hour is creating awareness and restoring these lakes. We need more and more civic groups and people who are ready to put in efforts and safeguard lakes across Bengaluru. Citizens should take lead in creating citizen-friendly cities with clean water bodies and lush green ambience. It is possible only if people take keen interest in protecting environmental assets”.