Popularly known as the Lake Man of India, Anand Malligavad is a lake conservationist from Bangalore, Karnataka. He is the founder of the Malligavad Foundation which works for water and forest conservation. The winner of the 2019 RSSS award in the environment category, Malligavad left his job as an engineer in the same year to become a full-time conservationist. Anand has been working on the conservation of lakes since 2017.
Niti Ayog released a report in 2018 that by 2020 Bengaluru will run out of groundwater, implicating “Day Zero”. Bengaluru was known as the City of Lakes comprising of beautiful lakes with an ample amount of underground water. However, the exploitation of the city’s lakes in the name of urbanization had led to a massive contamination of safe and clean water.
The Origin of an Idea: Crisis Leading to Action
While working as an engineer, Anand came across an article in 2015 that said Bangalore become a zero-water city soon. This information acted as a trigger for him, leading to a search for the reasons for the upcoming scarcity and crisis. After dwelling on the subject, he discovered the severity of the problem, and in 2016, he began full-fledged research and study. He learned about hundreds of lakes within a year and studied topography, shape, soil type, catchment area, and other aspects.
Finally, in 2017 Malligavad decided to clean the Kyalasanahalli Lake nearby his office. The lake was 36 acres wide and was highly polluted due to industrial waste and contaminated with silt. It was a dead water body, but that wasn’t the only problem with this task. Anand found out that following the norms would take INR 10-15 crores and a period of 1.5 years to complete the cleansing of the lake.
He then sat down and devised a plan according to which it would take 45 days to clean the lake and revive it with a total cost of under INR 1 crore. His company (Sunsera) provided the funding for this project as a CSR initiative. Anand headed the whole project and successfully carried out the operation within the timeline. This led to a couple more lake rejuvenations in the city while he was also working at Sunsera. He found his calling in water conservation and in 2019, he quit his job to do this full-time.
Anand Malligavad: Building up an Ecosystem of Lakes
Anand has taken up a lot of lake revival projects from 2017 to 2023. He has revived 23 lakes so far, most of which are in Bangalore. Marghondalli Lake is spread over nineteen acres, filled with sewage and silt. Malligavad cleaned the lake by removing contaminated water. The same goes for Shikaripalya, he cleaned this lake too and after a few rains, both lakes were filled with fresh water.
He is expanding the outreach of the cause through his organization ‘Malligavad Foundation’ and trying to clean as many water bodies as possible. In addition, the foundation also spreads awareness among the masses about the upcoming water crisis and educates them about the conservation and intelligent use of aquatic resources. He has also worked on other lakes in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Meghalaya. Most recently, Anand has undertaken a project to rejuvenate 108 kunds from the Ramayana era. The task has been assigned to him by the UP government. He is optimistic that he will succeed and contribute to making a difference.
Anand Malligavad inspired youth with his huge contributions
Anand Malligavad has always believed that education is not always about scoring marks but impacting lives. He believes one should be passionate about any important cause and always help make a significant difference in society. He is inspiring the youth to contribute their lives for a good cause. He involves youth in his projects and creates an awareness among people to take action, for it would make a massive impact on the lives of the future generation.
Getting inspired by Anand’s contributions to the society and environment, many more are following in his footsteps. He has inspired a lot of people and has made a great deal of impact on their lives. Anand believes that nobody is too young or old to drive a change, anyone can create a change if they are passionate about that cause.
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