4 students. One lake in Bengaluru. 23 days. A world of a difference.

Four of students in Grade 8 came together to clean up and revive a 4.5-acre lake and in Bangalore. Sounds astonishing?

Yatharth Murthy, Maitrii Patel, Mishti Kewalramani and Ira Bhruguwar were 13 year-olds studying in the 8th grade at the Vidyashilp Academy in Bangalore when they were looking out to make make a resounding impact. No goals were too big, no aspirations far-fetched. They called themselves the “WaveRiders”

Left to right: Maitrii Patel, Misshti Kewalramani, Yatharth Murthy, Teacher Ms. Sophie Mathew, Ira Bhruguwar

They realised that even though they were living in the ‘City Of Lakes”, due to rapid urbanisation and overpopulation, is facing one of the worst water crises in history. The Wave Riders made it their mission, to do their part to help bring back to life, ‘The City Of Lakes.’  This is also a part of WFUNA’s (World Federation of United Nations Association) Mission Possible program. 

A lake of 4.5 acres situated in Kanakapura road near Bannerghatta is what they zeroed-in on. This is what it looked like at first. There is huge potential for migration of animals and agricultural development. Their project also included the 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

This herculean undertaking required three things; expertise, support & funds.

The team approached from Anand Malligavad; a lake revivalist expert whose expertise and guidance helped the team navigate complicated procedures & formalities. They joined hands with the Rotary Club of Bangalore Indiranagar, which supported their noteworthy cause every step of the way. The newly acquainted team began their journey to help recreate a sustainable water source for both; nearby villagers and animals. 

Mr. Anand Malligavad: popularly known as ‘The Lake Man.’

But before setting forth with the rest of this initiative, the team had to tackle one herculean task; raising INR 8L for work which includes cleaning, desilting, bund strengthening, adding plastic trap, creating a mini-forest etc. By a stroke of luck, Mr Ranganath Thota, founder of FuelADream, happened to give a talk at their school regarding the benefits of crowdfunding at around the same time. The team instantaneously yet hesitantly, approached Mr. Ranga, who encouraged them to go forth with crowdfunding.

These four 13 year olds raised a staggering 8.28L in just 21 days!

After the immensely successful crowdfunding campaign, the rejuvenation process began. The team, fuelled by Mr. Anand, stayed true to the environment all throughout the 23 days of revival. They carefully followed 5 Sustainable Development Goals, as advised by most experts, and made sure that the process didn’t harm existing flora and fauna, or nearby villages.

In Yatharth’s words, ‘The lake we revived, it was a major water source for the community nearby. Once we revived the lake, it really benefited them.’

Aerial view of the lake now
These young change makers even received appreciation from the Indian ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Syed Akaruddin.

Till date, they’ve impacted tens of thousands of lives, by not only providing fresh water to villagers, but also providing them with the future they so desired. This lake is not just a water source, it is a symbol of hope. Hope that is fuelled by the belief that there will be a better tomorrow, one with enough resources for everybody. You just have to take the first step.

Click here for the Times of India coverage on the Wave Riders.

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