Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 | Last Update : 09:48 PM IST

Armed against toxicity

THE ASIAN AGE. | SEONA SHAJI
Published : Dec 12, 2018, 1:04 am IST
Updated : Dec 12, 2018, 1:04 am IST

Bengaluru’s largest lake, located in Bellandur, has been victim of unplanned urbanisation and dumping of waste.

Gautam Dayal
 Gautam Dayal

With the problem of foaming lakes haunting city dwellers and authorities alike, this 15-year-old decided to do something about the toxic fumes that ail the Garden City’s lakes! A student from Bangalore International School and a nature lover, Gautam Dayal, has launched a website savebellandur.org, in order to create awareness and reduce the damage caused to the Bellandur Lake.

Bengaluru’s largest lake, located in Bellandur, has been victim of unplanned urbanisation and dumping of waste. The problem began to worsen when housing societies and nearby industrial units started dumping untreated sewage and industrial waste into the lake.

Now, there is a constant stench that results due to the lake foaming up, and catching fire.

The website created by Gautam aims at offering a solution to this long-standing and very concerning problem.

In a chat with the young Bengalurean, we learn what drives the 10th grader and how the app works. He begins by sharing what motivated him.

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He says, “From my house, I have a very good view of the lake. I saw the situation of the lake worsening day by day and people around me were equally bothered but unable to help due to various restrictions. I started ideating for solutions and the course on future leaders by 1M1B really helped me. They taught us strategies on how to go about solving actual real world problems. When I made this website, my idea was to be able to bring experts, activists and common men under the same roof to accelerate the betterment of the lake.”

The app has two forums — the problem forum, where people can report complaints like burning waste or disposing garbage into the lake, and a solution forum, where people can offer possible solutions.

Not only is he doing his bit online but is also spreading awareness through various means. Elaborating on the same he says, “I think it is important to sensitise and make people aware of the seriousness of the issue. Other than the website itself, I have also conducted a photography workshop with the theme of ‘lake.’ I intend to hold more such competitions in the future as it will help in reaching out to other people.”

This teenager was always keen on learning more about environmental issues. Combining that with his interest towards computers, he found the perfect solution to protect the lake. His interests also spread across the areas of music, and he loves playing the piano. Movies and food are also his go-to when he has free time.

Gita Dayal, his proud mother says, “It was always his project, we’ve just been supportive of him. He was always into nature and bird watching ever since he was a child. When he saw the condition of the lake worsen, he took the initiative to do something about it, and we provided him with everything he needed. I believe that practical knowledge and experience as such is as important as academic knowledge and that children should take up more such projects.”

Prepping for his board exams, Gautam has taken a step back from the project to focus more on his studies now, but is bubbling with ideas to help save nature, and particularly the Bellandur Lake.

“I really hope that this website helps in not only solving the problem with the lake, but any other problem that we are faced with,” he signs off.

Tags: bellandur lake, toxic fumes