To sensitise residents, particularly children, in Bengaluru, Karnataka, about ecology and the importance of biodiversity, ActionAid Association has been conducting lake walks, butterfly
walks, and bird-watching walks at the city’s lakes since 2019. These walks have been helping build people’s understanding of the various forms of life thriving in and around lakes, consequently encouraging them to do their bit towards conserving water bodies and protecting the environment.
Together with two young volunteers – Ishita Jain and Ishan Jain – and in collaboration with Prabodhan, a civil society organisation, we organised a lake walk for children from disadvantaged backgrounds at Agara Lake on the morning of July 31, 2022. Eighteen children aged 12 years and above enthusiastically participated in this walk facilitated by bird watcher JN Prasad. Mr Prasad spoke about over 130 species of birds seen in and around the lake area, also sharing how some are now on the verge of extinction. He also shared tips to identify the various bird species through their colour, size, sounds and habitat. During the walk, Mr Prasad introduced the children to several kinds of plants and trees, their scientific names and their medicinal uses. Besides, Mr Prasad shared how Bengaluru, once home to over 1,000 lakes, now has just 200 lakes, with rising pollution levels further threatening the lake ecosystem.
A week later, we coordinated another lake walk at Agara Lake for 20 children associated with Maarga, a civil society organisation working in the city’s Koramangala area. While facilitating the August 7 lake walk, Mr JN Prasad introduced the young participants comprising this batch to flora and fauna in and around the lake. By the end of the walk, the children felt happy, having learnt several interesting facts about biodiversity.
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