Anand Malligavad: bringing lakes back to life!

Anand Mallingawad

Bengaluru, a city known as a ‘city of lakes’ today is at the verge of losing its title. Once flourished with almost 262 lakes today there left only 34 alive out of them! But what brings such a sudden shift in our ecosystem? Well, it’s not hard to guess. The only reason for it is pollution. People from across the country are aware about the harsh reality of pollution aftermath yet not may pay heed to the situation. They may judge the situation, curse the visitors but won’t spare a minute reviving it. In a city bubbling with pollution, a man Anand Malligavad has taken the initiative of reviving the lakes back to life! But what drove this man to be on lake rejuvenating mission is worth reading. This is his story.

Anand Malligavad mission to revive lakes of Bengaluru    

“When I first visited the spot, it was a disaster. Such a huge lake had dried up, and villagers were using it as a playground or dumping their waste. From that, we went on to create an oasis.” said Anand Malligavad.

Without any help from experts, ecologists or architects, Anand Malligavad has founded the Lake Revivers Collective, an initiative which had already revived 5 lakes in India’s Silicon Valley! But what makes this man unique, Malligavad has no technical training in this field! Mechanical engineer by profession today he is a successful eco activist who is transforming the fate of Bengaluru and plans to work on 20 more by 2025.

Anand Malligavad used to study in a school located on the banks of a lake. He use to spend most of his time sitting beside the lake and appreciating the nature. His long time association with lakes and environment along with his knowledge about the present condition of Bangaluru, Anand decided that he wanted to do something to change the city’s condition. It was this decision and love for nature that set him on a path to revive lakes one after one.

Anand Mallingawad

It all began when Anand was heading his CSR team for working for revival of the lakes when he came across the sight of the dry lake just opposite the house of an ex Vice Chairman of Tata Steels. Mr. B Muthuraman approached Anand to help in rejuvenating the lake. The Sansera Foundation funded Anand with around one crore for the project which boosted the speed of the revival! Together they created awareness in more than 300 families and helped them join hands in the project. Anand along with his fellow members managed to remove almost 4 lakh cubic meters of mud from the lake with only 6 trucks and 3 earth movers! The collected mud was then used to create several small islands between the lake which today flourish with greenery and purity. It is a resting place for birds who often makes their nest on the trees located on the island.

“A total of 18,000 saplings, 3,000 fruit bearings of 22 varieties, 3,000 native species of plants, and 2,000 Ayurveda plants, now populate the lake area, providing it with a bounty of natural treasures,” Said Anand in a report by The Better India.

Within the course of last two years, Malligawad has managed to revive around 4 lakes; Kyalasanahalli Lake, Vabasandra Lake, Konasandra Lake, and Gavi Lake. Not only that, he has been able to provide guidance for 3 other lakes within the state. Anand core technique of reviving lakes is by using engineering learnings which is highly cost effective and works just well with the project. Not only just lakes, he has recharged more than 180 bore wells in the city which has simultaneously increased the land value improving the lives of the poor. Anand Malligawad contribution in water bodies conservation is been studied by many top academic institutions for their research. Asian News networks of Karnataka has given him the title of ‘Asamanya Kannadiga’ which means “Impossible Kannadiga”. Also the Rotary foundation has awarded him with “Unsung Hero of the city” and “Community Service Award”.    

Now the question that hits most of us is what drive Anand to clean a 36 acre lake without anyone asking him to do so? Life is impossible without water and this water comes from water bodies such as lakes, rivers and ponds. Therefore these water bodies are just water but a source to life! Our entire food chain is depended on water to maintain various natural cycles. A healthy water body not just looks god but also is great deal for environmental benefits. It keeps greenery around, saves from droughts and cover major climatological inference. The only problem is, humans have been exploiting our water bodies since ages. Untreated sewage or agricultural runoff, we all have our share in polluting what is essential for the human survival. Realizing this importance, Anand Mallingawad, a self-claimed water conservationist is doing his bit towards environment conservation. Are you?  


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