Whitefield Rising’s birthday wish is for more apartments to rise up and improve their neighbourhoods

“Our best compliment is that Whitefield Rising is now being replicated quicker, with more Bangaloreans championing change in their areas.”

Whitefield Rising has officially completed one year of existence. The day went by without celebrations. For most of its volunteers, it was just another day, continuing the work with the same passion and zeal. But silently, an acknowledgement to its superb resources- people and their commitment. A citizen movement like this that the city of Bangalore has not yet seen. Game changing work being done across multiple areas. Waste segregation, cleaning public spaces, medical, water, traffic, education, empowering domestic maids, stray dogs…something for each and everyone to do and be involved with.

Understanding problems is just a small part. Looking at solutions and inspirations which have made a difference by acting on it is another. That’s where Whitefield Rising comes in. This work could come full circle, knowing even though we face these problems today and that the Government is doing what it can, we as individuals can make a difference.

The list of projects undertaken is long. An enumeration some of our work:

Waste Segregation: Many communities were already segregating waste. Many more have been inspired and joined in. At last count, there were 15 communities learning the ropes of segregation. This is now going viral.

• Transforming Public Spaces: We are following The Ugly Indian’s (TUI) model of spot fixing – citizens taking ownership of public spaces around them. We have done 15 spot fixes in the last one year. Several more are planned for the summer through resident communities and corporate as part of their CSR. Either way, what a tremendous transformation this is bringing! Our best success here is the fact that we had a community turn out to transform the street in front of them only remotely supported by us. Even the original TUI group were surprised.

The CPR training session

• Medical – A few months back we enrolled 500 domestic staff through the Government’s RSBY Scheme. The medical cards are now being rolled out. Free CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) classes by Paula McLean, a Whitefield resident and trained nurse from UK is conducting classes for residents and staff. She recently saved a driver’s life. We are now working it through all the way to see how his angioplasty can be done at minimum cost but with the same quality. More 108 ambulances are being asked for and the current ones are being placed at more strategic and accessible locations. Awareness is being created on medical benefits for BPL card holders. A list of blood banks, emergency hospitals, 24 hour pharmacies are available on our website. Do make a note of them.

• ITPL Rising: To ease traffic congestion on this busy road, ITPL rose to pave and make a walkway from ITPL Main Road to ITPL Gate 2. A new bus bay and bus shelter is coming up on ITPL Main Road.

• Traffic clearance: Clearly the need of the hour. Several suggestions and meetings have taken place on the ground to assess the situation. Now a great team is forming and we hope to streamline this.

• Voter registrations: Volunteers have helped 5,000 new voting population register. Now we will attempt to share necessary information for voters to know before they vote.

• Stray dogs: a full fledged programme is on with feeding, vaccination and neutering dogs.

• Government Schools: There are seven in the area. Numerous volunteers teach English.

• Honey Bee Hives saved from being chemically exhumed: 40

Tree planting at Vijayanagar

• Tree planting: Enabled a village leader to begin change in his village: He planted 30 trees.

• Arivu Naalivu Koota: A social service and educative gathering effort for women workers. The aim is to interact with maids, arrange for informative talks and teachings beneficial to them and their family, provide them a forum for sharing their talents (be it in creative art, music-dance, folk wisdom or cooking skills) and brighten their otherwise sole work focused life.

• Whitefield Rising Juniors: Teenagers are now getting engaged and a safe battery disposal program is beginning.

• Park rejuvenation program: Whitefield Inner circle Park was ‘spot fixed’. A nearby apartment complex provided their STP water to water the park.

• Citizen groups formed around two lakes: Sheelavantakere and Varthur – in partnership with Wake the Lake Program from United Way.

• BESCOM : The Managing Director himself visited Whitefield and looked at various issues. Regular follow up and tracking of progress is on.

While the above achievements are exciting enough, our real win comes from the fact that we have created a model that can scale dramatically by empowering every person that is interested in becoming a changemaker and contribute to their area. What’s more, our best compliment and award comes from the fact that the Risings are now fast replicating, which is exactly what we want. We are extremely happy to share everything and more and fully believe they will have a few things to teach us soon as well.

We are perfectly poised to explode into leveraging all the talent and passion of people living or working in Whitefield. So folks will no longer have a chance to sit back and complain. They can do anything they want to do. Ultimately, the focus on one area is only to demonstrate the value of focus in your own area in this day of traffic and travel challenges. If this social experiment is successful, the possibilities are endless. It’s all about mindset change – What “I” can do.

We got our anniversary gift by being a finalist in the prestigious Namma Bengaluru Awards held a few days back.

Need we say more?

Whitefield Rising is a community of volunteers who are getting together to utilize each and every resident’s abilities to make Whitefield a better place across all aspects affecting our quality of life. more


  Top Stories on TA

  Top Stories in SOCIETY

   Get stories like this in your inbox

Whitefield Rising is a community of volunteers who are getting together to utilize each and every resident’s abilities to make Whitefield a better place across all aspects affecting our quality of life. more

Discuss this article on Facebook