Thursday, December 31, 2020

Events & Programs 2020

30th Dec 2020 - Bommanahalli Constituency Youth Congress Election Meeting 

28th Dec 2020 - Indian National Congress 136th Foundation Day 

27th Dec 2020 - Meeting with KPCC President

27th Dec 2020 - Agara Lake Protection and Management Society AGM 

25th Dec 2020 - Visit to Muthanallur Lake for Assessment

24th Dec 2020 - Bommanahalli Constituency Youth Congress Election Meeting

20th Dec 2020 - Attended Meeting of Karnataka Federation of Social Activists & Association

17th Dec 2020 - BCLIP Alumni Meeting

10th Dec 2020 - KPCC Meeting, Co-ordinators

9th Dec 2020 - BCLIP Alumni Association Meeting

8th Dec 2020 - 1st Sector RWA Monthly Meeting

8th Dec 2020 - Attended Farmer Protest, Townhall

1st Dec 2020 - World AIDS Day, Blood Donors Honour

26th Nov 2020 - Constitution Day, Bommanahalli Constituency

25th Nov 2020 - Rajyotsava Event, by HSR Auto Drivers

21st Nov 2020 - CURE100 Meeting

19th Nov 2020 - Mobility Presentation to DULT

19th Nov 2020 - Indira Gandhi Birth Anniversary, Bommanahalli Constituency

18th Nov 2020 - Memorandum to BBMP Administrator on Lakes

16th Nov 2020 - Interaction with NGT regarding Somasundrapalya Lake and Mangamanapalya Lake 

14th Nov 2020 - KPCC Meeting, Pt Nehru Birth Anniversary

13th Nov 2020 - Sweet Boxes distribution for Ward 189 BBMP PKs, Helpers 

12th Nov 2020 - Sweet Boxes distribution for Ward 150 BBMP PKs, Helpers 

12th Nov 2020 - Sweet Boxes distribution for Ward 175 BBMP PKs, Helpers 

11th Nov 2020 - Sweet Boxes distribution for Ward 174 BBMP PKs, Helpers 

4th Nov 2020 - Meeting with Dept of Youth Empowerment & Sports

3rd Nov 2020 - RR Nagara Election Day Visit

1st Nov 2020 - Rajyyotsava Event by Samskruti Sanga

21st - 31st Oct 2020 - RR Nagara By-Elections KPCC Observer

19th Oct 2020 - MLC Election Meeting, Bommanahalli Constituency

17th Oct 2020 - KPCC Media Meeting & RR Nagara By-Election Meeting

14th Oct 2020 - RR Nagara By-Election, Nomination Event

11th Oct 2020 - KPCC, RR Nagara By-Elections Meeting

4th Oct 2020 - KPCC, By-Elections Meeting

2nd & 3rd Oct 2020 - Dharwad & Hubbali KPCC Prez Meetings/Programs, Tour Committee 

1st Oct 2020 - Protest Meet, Justice For Manisha Valmaki, Mangammanapalya

30th Sept 2020 - Protest Meet, Justice For Manisha Valmaki, KPCC

27th Sept 2020 - KCPP Meeting, newly appointed GS visit

20th Sept 2020 - KPCC Meeting, Women Leaders

5th Sept 2020 - KPCC Meeting, Training 

3rd Sept 2020 - Sector 1, RWA Meeting, BBMP Grounds

2nd Sept 2020 - HSR Citizens Meet - 2, BBMP Grounds

27th Aug 2020 - HSR Citizens Meet -1, BBMP Grounds

23rd Aug 2020 - KPCC President Flood Visits Co-ordination Meeting and Tour Plan, Belagavi

20th Aug 2020 - Celebration of Shri Rajiv Gandhi & Shri Devaraj Urs Birth Anniversary 

15th Aug 2020 - Visited Blood Donation Camp, Bommanahalli Youth Congress

27th, 28th, 29th July 2020 - Gave 450 Ration Kits & 1800 Masks to Students from 4 Govt Schools 

20th July 2020 - KPCC Zoom Conference Call - COVID19 Booth Level Plan

6th July 2020 - KPCC COVID19 Taskforce Meeting

2nd July 2020 - BSS, Certificates Distribution for Students

2nd July 2020 - Chikkaballapura, Pratijna Dina

29th June 2020 - Protest Against Fuel Hike #SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike

27th June 2020 - Chikkaballapura Meeting - 3, Pratijna Dina Program

26th June 2020 - Chikkaballapura Meeting - 2, Pratijna Dina Program

23rd June 2020 - KPCC Meetings

19th June 2020 - Ganga Puja for Agara Lake

7th June 2020 - Chikkaballapura Meeting -1, Pratijna Dina Program

28th March to 14th May 2020 - COVID19 Relief Work

15th March 2020 - RWA Meeting

14hMarch 2020 - BCLIP Alumni Association Meeting

8th March 2020 - HSR Citizens Meeting, BBMP Restructuring Draft

8th March 2020 - Agara Lake Meeting, ALPMS

8th March 2020 - 4th edition of Women's Day Run, Kaagaz Foundation

7th March 2020 - Chief Guest at Kerala Samaja Women's Day Event

7th March 2020 - BCLIP Alumni Association Meeting

7th March 2020 - Anti CAA, NPR, NRC Meeting

7th March 2020 -  Chief Guest at Thomson Public School Event

2nd March 2020 - Meeting with BBMP, BWSSB, Forest Dept regarding Agara Lake

23rd Feb 2020 - Joined to welcome Samajawadi Andolan team to Bengaluru, Townhall

18th Feb 2020 - Joined protest against CAA NRC NPR and Spoke, Bilal Bagh, Bengaluru

15th Feb 2020 - Ward Committee Meeting

14th Feb 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, Hegde Nagar, Bengaluru

13th Feb 2020 - Joined protest against CAA NRC NPR and Spoke, Bilal Bagh, Bengaluru

11th Feb 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, Davanagere

8th Feb 2020 - Panel Discussion at St Joseph College on CAA, NRC, NPR

8th Feb 2020 - Protest under Leadership of Shri Doreswamy, Freedom Park

7th Feb 2020 - Protest under Leadership of Shri Doreswamy, Townhall

6th Feb 2020 - Protest under Leadership of Shri Doreswamy, Townhall

2nd Feb 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, HD Kote

30th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, Udupi 

26th Jan 2020 - Blood Donation Camp, Kaagaz Foundation 

25th Jan 2020 - Sasikanth Senthil interaction on CAA NRC NPR at IAT, Bengaluru

24th Jan 2020 - Press Conference of Bengaluru 2.0, BCLIP Alumni Association

22nd Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, Belagavi

21st Jan 2020 - Attended meet organised by Minority Div of KPCC, CAA NRC NPR

20th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR meet, Hungund

18th Jan 2020 - Bengaluru 2.0 Round Table discussion, BCLIP Alumni Association

18th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR Protest meet, Tannery Road, Bengaluru 

16th Jan 2020 - Workshop on CAA NPR NRC, KPCC Office

15th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR Protest meet, Dharwad

14th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR Protest meet, Sidlaghatta

14th Jan 2020 - Speech at anti CAA NRC NPR Protest meet, Chikkaballapur

10th Jan 2020 - Shri Kannaan Talk on NRC, NPR, CAA at St Joseph Auditorium, Bengaluru 

6th Jan 2020 - Protest againt the attack on JNU Students, Townhall, Bengaluru

5th Jan 2020 -  Burqa Bindi Protest against CAA NRC NPR, Townhall, Bengaluru

5th Jan 2020 - Clean-up drive, Agara Lake

4th Jan 2010 - Satyagraha, Protest against CAA NRC NPR, Freedom Park, Bengaluru

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

No Pearl, No Paddy Just Toxic Water!



Muthanallur, the name itself defines the village, Paddy which is like Pearls, is the English translation of Muthanallur, not only the village famous for its Paddy but also for one of the biggest Lake in Anekal Taluk, the Muthanallur Lake.

Over 600+ acre Muthanallur Lake is facing the same challenges as many other Lakes, unchecked industrial waste from Jigani Industrial Area and raw sewage from Chandapura, Lakshmisagara, Ramasagara and surrounding villages, layouts and towns is entering the Lake making the water extremely toxic. 

The history of Muthanallur Lake speaks for itself, known as one of the largest Lake that was the life line for most parts of Anekal Taluk with a large catchment area and upstream flow. It irrigated hundreds of acres of land before flowing to Biduraguppa Lake and to Tamil Nadu eventually. With thriving Bio-diversity the Lake was very popular for its Fishes, and the year Muthanallur Lake was full would mean a bumper crop. 

But, all the good things is that of the past, even though Lake is still a very popular Bird sighting spot the past glory is just a memory as the Lake is heading towards a bleak future with toxic waste water flowing into the Lake endlessly. 

Shri Siddaramaiah led Government took up the ambitious KC Valley Project to fill the Lakes of Kolar District and Anekal Taluk Lakes with treated water from Bengaluru Sewage. Even as treated water reached Kolar Lakes and the pipeline for Anekal Taluk Lakes are nearing completion, but the biggest concern of the toxic wastewater reaching Muthanallur Lake still have no solution, and lift irrigation project will not change the fact that toxic wastewater will continue to flow polluting and contaminating the Lake. 

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) high Negligence or Nexus is evident, KSPCB has not made any effort to check and prevent the industrial waste water entering the Lake from the Industrial Area. While Bengaluru Lakes make national headlines for all the wrong reasons the Lakes from the Rural areas closer to Bengaluru do not get any media coverage even when these Lakes are in must worst condition. 

The purpose of Rural Lakes is also Irrigation, Livelihood, Utility and is not restricted to playing the role of Rain Water Harvesting Zones or Flood Mitigate or Bio-diversity spaces. So, there is a need to take Conservation of Rural Lakes more seriously than ever as excess urbanization is creating an imbalance in the rural areas.   

How to restore Muthanallur Lake to its past Glory? 
  • KSPCB has to take immediate action on all the Industries that are letting out untreated wastewater to flow into the Lake and ensure implementation of either individual or common Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). 
  • Issue Notices to Chandapura Purasabha for letting Sewage Water from all the surrounding villages/layouts/towns into the Lake and enforce implementation of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) as per the NGT guidelines. 
  • Government should step-in and put out a detailed plan and budget to De-silt, De-weed, Revive and Restore the Lake completely, enabling the villagers to use the water from the Lake for Irrigation and Utility. 

Interestingly, there are several tube wells drilled illegally around Muthanallur Lake to supply Water to Panathur, Whitefield, Bellandur and several adjoining areas by tankers. If the groundwater is contaminated due to the toxic wastewater in the Lake it would mean end of a good source of water permanently.   

Lot of time is already lost; every passing day means more challenges to keep the Lake alive. Every Lake Conserved will add to a movement to save other Lakes in Anekal Taluk. 


From Water Conservation prospective when every part of the country is facing Water crisis, proactive measures to Conserve the Lakes has to be a top priority, time is indeed running out and crisis management when Water crisis start impacting all of us on a daily basis is not an option anymore.

- Kavitha Reddy www.KavithaReddy.in

Monday, December 28, 2020

135 Years of Glorious History!

 



Respected KPCC President, Hon Ex CM & CLP Leader, Working Presidents, Senior Leaders and my Fellow Congress Men and Women.

As a Proud Congress Woman, it’s my greatest privilege to share my thoughts on the 136th Foundation Day of Indian National Congress, the day when the 1st meeting of the Indian National Congress was held in the year 1885. 

The History of 135 years of Indian National Congress is the History of India’s Freedom Struggle, Sacrifices, Success of millions of Congress Men and Women, led by the Founding people who stood for the Idea of India. 

Today we are faced with yet another challenge, the challenge of fighting the Divisive agenda of Fascist RSS & BJP and free our Nation once again from Ideology that never participated in our Independence Movement nor accepted the Constitution of India. 

The Federal structure that is the core to our Constitution is under serious threat, as a South Indian I feel the identity of all our States is collapsing, the bankrupt Ideology of RSS & BJP is forcing excess centralization and destroying the powers of the States posing a serious threat to Federalism which is the foundation stone of our Constitution. 

Removal of Article 370, Loss of Taxes for States in GST, New Education Policy, Farm Bill, Bypassing the ULB in the name of Smart Cities, Imposing of Hindi on Southern States are some of the deliberate steps taken by the RSS & BJP Govt to Centralize Power and to destroy the Federal Structure. 

As Pt Nehru said Failure comes only when we forget our Ideals, Objectives and Principles, today as True Congress Men and Women we have to take a pledge re-commit ourselves to the objectives of Indian National Congress which is, wellbeing and advancement of people of India and the establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional mean, of a socialist state based on Parliamentary Democracy in which there is equality of opportunity and of political, economic and social rights and which aims at world peace and fellowship. 

Bapu said Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth, hence its more than necessary in today’s time of Fake and Hate filled Propaganda to stand up for the Truth, because Future of India depends upon what we do today, and what kind of an India we want to leave behind when our journey ends. 

The architect of our Constitution Babasaheb said, They cannot make history who forget history, so let is never forget the glorious history of Indian National Congress and its Sacrifices to uphold the Idea of India. 

On this note I thank the KPCC President for giving me an opportunity to express my views on this auspicious Foundation Day. 

Jai Hind, Jai Karnataka, Jai Congress                     Video Link



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Money on Waste!

Pic Source: Internet

Silicon City and IT Capital of India it’s still grappling with basic issues and the most prominent of it is the Garbage crisis, makes you wonder if Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will still continue to be on Garbage experimentation mode. 

Bengalureans are indeed frustrated with being the guinea pigs of BBMP Garbage experiments. Without a single Solid Waste Management (SWM) Expert on its SWM EC Panel, nor a single professional consultant who can be held accountable for the failures of the experiments, BBMP SWM saga is no different from the childhood story of Elephant and six visually challenged people. 

BBMP’s latest “Surgical Strike” on Bengalureans is charging Garbage Collection Fee (GCF) for every house via the BESCOM Bill. BBMP is already collecting SWM cess in the Property Tax, Apartments and Commercial entities pay for vendors who collect their Garbage, Commercial entities all pay additional cost for Garbage collection. So, what is the need to charge more for a service which is anyhow not rendered properly? Will “Surgical Strike” of charging GCF end all the Garbage woes of Bengaluru? 

BBMP cannot claim 100% collection, because we still see loads of Garbage on the streets, lanes, road sides, vacant sites, drains, footpaths and even Lake beds of Bengaluru. The “Collection Casteism” leaves may out of Garbage collection net, who thereby dump waste at their will. Street Vendor to CEO, Huts to Apartments all generate Waste, by not collecting from some sections which I call it as “Collection Casteism” BBMP has been doing injustice to Bengalureans. 

When there was a huge Citizen support for slicing the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) crisis by de-centralizing processing at Ward level, BBMP dragged its feet and wasted crores of Public money to make badly managed and stinking compost units like KCDC look good. These compost units are today not only becoming hazardous but are monuments of BBMP failed experiments.   

Even as cities like Hyderabad and Vijawada are using the large and smaller Mechanical Sweepers, all the 17 odd large Mechanical Sweepers purchased by BBMP funded by the Taxpayers are either not used or rarely used and can be found stationed in some service roads, thereby adding problems of dust and uncleaned roads to Garbage woes. 

BBMP is yet to put a final number on C & D Waste, with over 4000 tons of MSW generated everyday of which 40% is from Commercial entities and 60% form Households, can BBMP say what percentage of it is collected and what percentage of it is cleared from dumping points, streets, lanes, footpaths, vacant sites etc.? 

100% Segregation is an ideal situation and indeed it should be the Aim, but BBMP is failing in its SWM Plans because it refuses to prepare for the worst and all the processes are set assuming that there will be 100% Segregation. This wrong assumption has become a stumbling block and stopping BBMP to implement multiple solutions to process MSW in a fully de-centralized manner. 

1.2 crore Bengalureans are indeed customers of BBMP, but time and again BBMP has been only collecting Tax, Cess, Fee but has not shown any improvement in managing MSW. So, why should a customer pay more for a service that BBMP has been failing to provide time and again? 

When BBMP is spending over Rs1000 crores per year on SWM which is appox Rs 7 per kg, what will the new fee do? Will it fund more BBMP SWM experiments and strengthen "Garbage Mafia"? Rs 7 per kg to collect/transport/process/dispose is probably the highest cost in comparison to any city and still Bengaluru is not Clean. 

It is understood that BBMP is bankrupt of Ideas to increase Revenues, it has no Innovative or Collaborative way to increase revenues or even reduce costs. Everything in BBMP is about contractors, in an extremely high contractor dependent BBMP reducing costs means disturbing the apple cart that is used to a certain way of functioning, and any change could angry the “Contractor Mafia”. 

In this stand-off of BBMP trying to loot its customers by forcing GCF, its time the customers call the BBMP Bluff and refuse to pay the new GCF and put BBMP on a trail and demand BBMP to prove its worth by deed. 

For next 6 months let BBMP SWM: 

  • Collect Garbage from every home, every commercial entity and prove 100% collection
  • Ensure streets/lanes/roads/footpaths, drains, Lake Beds, road sides are Garbage Free
  • Reduce expenditure on Garbage from Rs 7 per kg to Rs 4 per kg 

Its high time BBMP pulls up its socks and works on Administrative Reforms, Financial Prudence and end the dominance of "Contractor Mafia & Garbage Mafia" before it burdens Bengalureans with more Taxes & Fees. 

With the new BBMP Bill, 198 Wards and many Gram Panchayats will become part of Greater Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike with 243 Wards, if BBMP does not Clean-up its mess now there will be no time and money left to face the bigger challenges ahead. 

- Kavitha Reddy www.KavithaReddy.in 

FB Live

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Cow – Politics, Farmers, Economics, Environment


Debates are the Hallmark of our Parliamentary Democracy, and Karnataka Assembly has always witnessed excellent debates. The Democratic system was subverted on 9th Dec 2020 when Karnataka Government tabled The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 without prior notice to the opposition nor mentioning it in the list of day’s business. Opposition walked out unwilling to debate without proper notice, and an important Bill was passed without a single debate. 

As Cow Politics supporters cheered and jeered, like always Facts and Farce were missed out, and one was left wondering how Cow is Mummy till 13 years and Yummy after 13 years. 

The Bill focuses more on saving Vigilante groups, giving raise to Fear, making room for Police harassment of backward communities. When Government is unable to set up special courts to give justice for rape victims, talking about courts in every district to give justice for Cattle seems to be a sham. 

At a time when Central Government is unwilling to pass on the benefit of the dropping crude oil prices to citizens, forcing Farmers to take care of unproductive Cattle in the name Cow Protection lacks rational and sensitivity towards already struggling Farmers.

Karnataka Cow Protection Bill 1964 vs 2020


Key Points

1964

2020

Cattle age to kill/sell

12 Years

13 Years

Included

Cow & Calf

Cow, Calf, Bull, Buffalo, Bullocks

Fine & Punishment

Rs1000, 6 months Jail

Rs50K to 10 lac, 3-7 years Jail

Confiscation

NA

Local Police, SI level Officer can confiscate based on a complaint or doubt

Vigilante

NA

Vigilante can take Law into their own hands, and are protected fully by Law

Legal

NA

Setting up Cattle Courts in every district, Cattle confiscated will be auctioned

Offence

Cognizable

Cognizable


Facts – India & Karnataka 

National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) shows that 40% of 195 million Muslims, 2% of 966 million Hindus, 26.5% of 32 million Christians consume Beef. Among the Hindus over 70% SC ST, 21% OBC, 7% other castes consume Beef. 

In India more than 6 crore Cattle become unproductive every year, it costs Rs100 per day to feed one Cow/Bull/Buffalo and 5 lac acres of land is need needed to take are of all the unproductive Cattle. 

In Karnataka 1.15 crores of Cattle (Cow, Ox, Buffalo, Bullock) is reared by 39 lac families (25 lac rear Cows, 14 lac rear Buffalos, there could be an overlap). Average lifespan of Cattle is 10-18 years and their productive age is less than 50% of their lifespan. 

India is the 2nd largest exporter of Beef contributing 13.15% globally, livestock contribution is 4.5% to India’s GDP and 25.6% of the Agriculture GDP.   

India is also one of the largest producers of Milk, in 2018-19 Government reported 187.7 million tons of Milk production, with per capita availability of 394 grams, also Dairy production accounts to 4.2% of India’s GDP.

Karnataka is the 11th largest producer of Milk in the country with approx. 1 crore liters production per day, of which 80-85 lac liters is procured daily by KMF directly. 

Leather sector is one of the top 10 largest Foreign exchange earner for the Country, Export of Leather and Leather products in 2018-19 accounted to USD 5.7 million. Indian Leather sector employs over 4.42 million people and produces over 2.41 billion pairs of footwear, which is second highest in the World. 

Politics 

Cow Politics has been used mostly to target minorities and food habits ignoring the glaring facts and ground realities. Time and again the hyper propaganda by certain fringe groups and mainstream Political parties have been spreading misinformation, creating divide among communities, giving way to vigilante, violence when the core of the debate has to be Farmers, Economics and Environment. 

Interestingly the Cow Politics exempts Export of Beef, this is visible even as State Governments that are in a race to pass the Cow Protection Bills are not talking about Ban on Beef Exports. It may also be noted that out of the 6 largest Beef Exporting Companies in India 4 are owned by upper caste Hindus which debunks the fake religion argument in the high voltage Cow Politics propaganda.   

Farmers 

Cattle like other livestock are considered as assets by Farmers, largely Farming, Poultry, Dairy are not standalone occupation among Farmers in Karnataka, hence productivity of each asset is very important for a Farmer. 

Farmers sell unproductive Cattle when they are unable to sustain or when they want to invest in more productive assets like any other business person. So, denying the Farmers the right to implement productive options by pushing the Cow Politics on them is not only unfair but a great burden to maintain Cattle till the age of 13 years. 

The new Bill passed in Karnataka Assembly undemocratically without debate does not mention what Farmers have to do with unproductive Cattle, will the State buy the unproductive Cattle from the Farmers? 

With increased pressure of Cow Politics and stringent laws there is a high possibility of Farmers opting out of Dairy Farming thereby reducing Milk production and eventual death of many Cattle breeds. One also has to note that in States like Karnataka drought year on year will add to Farmer’s troubles as taking care of the Cattle will get expensive leading to more distress and suicides among Farmers. 

Economics 

Country cannot be run on emotions or propaganda; it is clear that Dairy Farming is highly important for India’s GDP and also to be a progressive and self-sustaining Nation. Green and White Revolution strengthened our Nation and made us independent on Food Grains and Milk. 

Current Prime Minister Modi spoke about ending Pink Revolution referring to Beef Exports during his 2014 election campaign, but since then Beef Exports has only increased, taking India to 2nd spot globally. 

The raw material for Indian Leather Industry which is one of the largest in the World comes from Cows, Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats etc. States like Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh account to 85% of Tanneries in India, making it impossible to ignore the real Economics.   

According to Karnataka State one has to spend Rs100 per day to feed an unproductive Cattle, which means Rs36500 per Cattle per year, and if Karnataka has over 1 lac unproductive Cattle who will pay for it remains unanswered. 

With shrinking rural land, Kharab/Gomala land meant for Cattle grazing is eventually getting converted for buyers use, and recently Karnataka Government Revenue Minister allowed 21000 acres of Kharab/Gomala land for conversion by paying twice the guidance value in 18kms radius of Bengaluru city. So, double speak on Cow Politics stands exposed by the actual actions of the Government. 


Environment
 
In the charged atmosphere of Cow Political crowning Cow as Mother and not having any consideration for Mother Nature is sheer Hypocrisy. With expanding cities, increase in population density, reduction in agriculture and grazing land bringing in Unscientific Bill is extremely dangerous for the Environment.
 
Excess grazing has brought down hills and mountains due to soil erosion and Forest land is losing its biodiversity in most parts of India. Irrespective of States India does not have the luxury of feeding crores of unproductive Cattle in the name of Cow Protection. Over 5 lac acres of land in needed to take care of over 6 crore Cattle that become unproductive every year, so there is a need to look at Cow Bill beyond Politics and Optics.
 
Lest we forget that Mother Nature Fury can take everyone down, hope people will reject Illogical, Unscientific and Emotional Bills eventually, and start embracing Sustainability as the way forward.
 
- Kavitha Reddy, www.KavithaReddy.in

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Being Blood Donor


 





What Blood Type are You? I am the Donor Type!

Being recognized by Govt of Karnataka, Karnataka AIDS Prevention Society and BBMP for Donating Blood 29 times on 1st Dec 2020 World AIDS Day was indeed a surprise and definitely never expected.

How did it all start?

What started as Social Service in NCC days way back in 1991 almost turned into a habit. I remember when my mother-in-law was admitted in Sagar Apollo and needed platelets, I donated Blood just few days before I left form Advance Mountaineering at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi. I felt fitter than ever in the Mountains and continued to donate Blood whenever someone needed. 

2013 changed it all, via Kaagaz Foundation (my NGO) we started organizing Blood Donation Camp on a regular basis almost 2-3 times a year, 26th Jan, 15th Aug, 2nd October, 30th Jan became regular dates of our Blood Camps. Other than our own Blood Camps about 4 times I have donated in the Camps organized by Friends in the locality.  

Women and Blood Donation

Yes, women Blood Donors are fewer in number;

There is a huge misconception that women should not donate blood as they have menstrual cycle, they become weak etc, it is indeed a misconception, donating blood during and few days after menstrual cycle can be avoided otherwise women are as eligible as men to donate blood.

Low Weight, less Hemoglobin, Anemic are some of the general reasons for higher rejection rate among women who want to donate blood. I encourage women to focus on their Health, and see Blood Donation as a Healthy habit.

Benefits of Blood Donation

- Saves Lives

- Quick Health and Blood Check-up
- Healthier Heart, Liver and Vascular system
- Reduce harmful Iron stores
- Reduce Risk of Cancer
- Burn Calories
- Reduces Stress
- Gives Sense of Pride

Being a Blood Donor is Cool! So focus on Health, Donate Blood to Save Lives & to Stay Fit

- Kavitha Reddywww.KavithaReddy.in

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Failing The Lakes!


Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail, the quote that best describes the management of Lakes in Bengaluru. Once upon a time we were a city of 1000 Lakes goes the story and what is see now is a weak attempt to save the 280 odd Lakes that has turned into Sewage pools.
 
As the voices that are fighting to save the Lakes become meeker, the challenges to Retrieve, Save, Revive and Manage the Lakes are only increasing. 16-17 yrs ago, when most of the Lakes were fenced and Lake Development Authority (LDA) was formed, it was seen as a first step to consolidate all the Bengaluru Lakes under a single entity. But that effort stayed in files that gathered dust for years, rather gave way to privatization of Lakes followed by litigations and wrath of the Environmentalists. Eventually the Activists and Citizens watched the rampant encroachments and Lakes turning into concreate buildings helplessly, or with a little resistance.
 
Karnataka Lake Conservation & Development Authority (KLCDA) ACT 2014 kept the City Lakes out, then later when all the Lakes across the state were handed over to Minor Irrigation the City Lakes were looking at one more vacuum and Activists were guessing what would happen next, the final blow came with the current Government decided to handover all the City Lakes that were with Forest Department and BDA to BBMP for intent unknown, exposing the Lakes to more Political hands without heads.
 
In the garb of growth and development the sustainability of the city hangs in balance, extreme localization of the Lake management has increased political interference and isolation of Lakes converting them into single units.
 
Bengaluru Lakes is a network Water System and are not isolated units, and reviving few odd Lakes will not paint a pretty picture either. Lakes in Bengaluru are Rain Water Harvesting Zones, Flood Mitigators, Bio-diversity spots, Lung spaces, Livelihood creators and overflow to Rural Water bodies providing Water for Agriculture. But current policy and structure negates the Water System and takes up revivals ignoring the upstream, catchment and downstream.
 
So, there is an urgent need to re-look at our Lakes and Water bodies with a fresh pair of Green Glasses; and begin with four key steps:
 
Strengthen the Authority - since all Bengaluru Lakes are with BBMP Lakes division empower it to remove encroachments without more red tapes, joint responsibility on storm water drains, lake inlets and catchment areas, make them accountable to Karnataka Tank Conservation & Development Authority (KTCDA) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), allocate committed budget and resource for recovery, revival, monitoring and conservation, make National Green Tribunal (NGT) guidelines and review mandatory.
 
Vision for Lakes - with over all Vision for Bengaluru Lake which is the complete Water System, objectives, uniqueness of each Lake should be documented along with the local stakeholders (citizens, fishermen, activists, farmers etc.) this will help in drawing up a long-term monitoring and conservation plan for each Lake along with financial requirements.
 
Recovery & Revival - implement suggestion from Justice N K Patil report, recovery of Lake lands and buffer zones as per NGT guidelines and fence the Lakes as an initial step to protect Lakes. Revival of Lakes needs a comprehensive and standardization focusing on catchments area, inlets, wetlands, biodiversity, utilities based on the Vision of the Lake.
 
Policy Stability - Lakes of Bengaluru have been a victim of constant policy changes leading to inconsistency and apathy, multiple experiments on Lakes need to end thereby making way to a clear and consistent sustainable conservation policy.
 
Time is running out, Bengaluru cannot afford to fails its Lakes any more, with almost consistent rainfall, ability to recycle waste water every step has to be taken to Conserve Lakes and make the Bengaluru Water Sufficient and Efficient.
 
Kavitha Reddy

www.KavithaReddy.in

Friday, September 4, 2020

Stadium for Whom?

                                                                   
The Playground that is the area proposed for a Grand Stadium was saved from becoming Judges Layout after a long 5 years legal battle in the Courts against the Judges by the Residents of HSR Layout.

No Elected Representative was responsible for saving the 7.18 acres, it was the dedication and efforts of the Residents and RWAs that brought down the curtains on the Judges Layout for which foundation too was laid.

Lack of Transparency:

Firstly, Residents and RWAs, all wanted some basic development and maintenance of the Ground and to be left as largely an open Playground, which even Courts had suggested.

Secondly, a Grand Project was not even discussed with the Residents or RWAs, and were kept in dark till it came to the notice 3 days prior to CM’s visit, which eventually got postponed.

DPR, Tender Documents, Costs, Work Order, Project Duration, Workflow, Estimates to the Work Flow, Final Design approval, Objective of the Project nothing was made available to the Public by BBMP and MLA’s Office.

Strangely if there is no full disclosure of Grand Project that is estimated to be Rs140crs with 20 years in the middle of HSR Layout it only raises more questions and doubts about the intent of the Project.

Even after RWAs meeting the MLA and JC Bommanahalli no document was released for scrutiny and understanding of the Project.

The design that was circulated clearly indicated a prominent Cricket Stadium with some spaces outside the Stadium for other Sports and also shows some semi-Commercial ventures.

Even though MLA and Officials claimed that the designed was changed there was no other documentation to satisfy the Residents about the new plan.

Meeting of RWAs, 27th Aug 2020:

An emergency meeting was called by the HSR Federation to discuss about the Stadium Project and everyone who spoke at that meeting strongly opposed the Stadium and informed the Federation to communicate the same to the MLA and JC BBMP. It was also suggested that development of the Playground is long pending and an open space Playground should be retained with providing Basic facilities, Safety and Good maintenance. There were also suggestions to call a larger meeting including the Residents who are not part of the RWAs like the Apartments and Villages around.

What Public Want?

Open Playground with the following:

  1. Good quality Compound or Fencing around the Ground
  2. 3 level steps along the Compound/Fencing
  3. High Quality Ground (all weather resistant) with seepage to RWH
  4. Toilets and a Medical Room
  5. CCTV
  6. Security and Maintenance  
  7. 2 Entrance points - 19th Main and 17th Cross
This is all that can be done at best in a 7.18 acres Playground which already has a open Gym. The open Playground is best suited even for the locality and does not leads to more congestion or commercialization of the locality.

Meeting of the RWAs, 2nd Sept 2020:

Post the 27th Aug meeting few members of the HSR Federation were asked by the MLA to meet him, where his staff seems to have made a slide show on the Project but no details or document copies were shared.

When I reached the meeting hall it was evident that there was a different plan. I asked the HSR Federation President if he has invited others who are not part of the Federation and Residents from the Apartments, for which he said no one other than the members of the RWAs and Federation Office Bearers would attend the meeting.

Suddenly the meeting hall was getting filled with people who were not even invited for the meeting and it was a clear indication that the meeting was not going to go well.

Generally, at the start of the meeting of HSR Federation Office Bearers who are conducting the meeting ask all the non-invitees or non-members to leave but that did not happen either. As the meeting started HSR Federation President made opening statement and gave additional inputs and tried to clarify some points as communicated by MLA and JC Bommanahalli.

Since I am from Sector 1, I was given the opportunity to put across my point, as I started speaking and quoted a member form the previous meeting that even today there is a fee collected to play cricket in the ground a planned uproar started. Vested interests were jeering me and making uncharitable comments.

There was a situation created and somehow, I got a feeling that vested groups who were present there will not allow me to complete my points. Suddenly few arguments started by the sidelines and a member of 2nd Sector was almost pushed around. There was an emotionally charged atmosphere, and Police entered the meeting ground and all the noise makers calmed a bit.

I refused to budge and be cowed down by the people who wanted to silence me and did not allow to be provoked and refused to be instigated. I asked the HSR Federation President to share the DPR, Tender documents, Work Flow, Fund allocation etc. which is a standard process in any Government or BBMP Project process.

It was obvious that there were no documents and instead of Federation Office Bearers just noting the points each member was speaking they wanted to give rebuttal and the rest who were there uninvited people were creating noise and even as Police sat through the meeting.

I continued to speak and told the HSR President to make note of all the points of each speaker and not to respond and interrupt, like I had put across in the previous meeting I stood firm on my stand that Playground needs proper development and Stadium that is getting pushed without any documentation is not the answer. Playground like in many other localities is an open space that everyone needs and any plan to make it a Stadium would mean losing a locality Playground forever.

I gave the inputs on the finer points on how this will lead to not only commercialization but will also encourage non-Sports events. As a Sportsperson who represented State and University, I shared all the details on how Sports Associations affiliated to different Karnataka Sports Associations.

All those who spoke against the Stadium in the previous meeting had clearly changed their stand or were silent. The fear of being targeted by the vested interest groups had left all the RWA member shaken. Clapping, Jeering continued and many RWAs members felt that their voices were muscled down and were not able to express their voices freely, in a way many RWA members felt that it’s better to give up than fight for their rights.

Only Me, 6th Sector Office Bearer and Lalithamba who got to speak in favor of open Playground stood firm on our stand even when it was fully evident that the meeting was hijacked by the uninvited people and their objective was to create unrest and largely the RWA members realized that and kept their calm even when there were serious provocations.

The meeting ended without any concrete action points, and the uninvited people with vested interest ended up leaving a bad taste displaying rouge behavior that was really not needed. When the objective was to demand transparency and to discuss how to save the Playground with good minimum upgrade (which has always been the demand of the Resident) barging into an uninvited meeting and creating chaos put the entire meeting in extreme bad light.

Many of my friends who came to know about what happened in the meeting and how personal attacks verbally was made to silence some of us called me and expressed their displeasure on the entire episode and also expressed their solidarity with all those who have been trying their best to save the Playground for everyone.

Any large project needs full transparency as it’s the Public money that is involved and the voices of the Residents is critical. Projects like this without open discussion and planning will only add to the list of money being wasted on what people may not even use or want.

Hope this message reaches the office of Hon Chief Minister of Karnataka and the project is reassessed with full transparence and adherence to the guidelines and voices of the people.

- Kavitha Reddy, www.KavithaReddy.in