Our lake cleaners Puttaswamy and Ramakrishna had been removing the weeds from the water and piling them on the slope. However, they were not so keen to remove the drying weed from the slope since it was so much more difficult. Where they lay, the alligator weed and salvinia molesta would no doubt enrich the soil but the alligator weed would begin to sprout.
We were therefore keen on removing it while also making space for more weeds. When our CSR partner Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited (RBEI) asked if their volunteers could work at the lake, we grabbed the opportunity. On Saturday, 5th November, the first of the 25 Bosch volunteers arrived at the lake at 8 a.m. and we set them to the task of removing the weeds from the slope.
Gardeners, Jayanna and Ramu, Puttaswamy and Ramakrishna filled baskets with the drying weeds which volunteers handed over the grill to their friends. They in turn emptied the baskets between the trees within the boundary fence. As and when more volunteers joined, they did likewise. One of them, Deepak had brought his 70 year old mother who matched his enthusiasm.
In no time it seemed, the volunteers had cleared one section and everyone moved to the next spot further down. This being the highest point of the lake bed, maximum weeds had been piled here and we needed all the help the volunteers could give to clear out this area. With great gusto everybody set to work.
The slope is gradual here so more volunteers went to the water side and helped to fill the baskets. Some were emptied into our wheel barrows and cycle trolley which the volunteers wheeled away. By 10 a.m. we called for a break. We had arranged a sumptuous breakfast for the by now hungry volunteers. Seeing the amount of work they had done, our guys were keen on getting the entire spot cleared. The volunteers were only too happy to oblige. Post breakfast, they resumed work with greater energy. In about an hour they were scraping the ground and it was time to halt, mission accomplished!
Photo credits: V.Srikrishnan, Usha Rajagopalan