Youth work day and night to transform Galli into Garden

Youth work day and night to transform Galli into Garden

August 24, 2017

Mysuru: Is India’s young demographic — a dividend or a curse? This is a question begging for an answer, as India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group.

Hence, the youth have a huge role to play in nation-building. Among the many challenges the country is facing, environment is one such and all efforts are being made to create awareness about protecting it. There is a group of architecture students in Mysuru for whom, Environment Day is not the only special day, but they treat every day as Environment Day and are keen on improving the cleanliness of city.

Conservancy Lanes (Galli in local parlance) are quite unique to these parts of the State. Mysuru had conservancies in the past in well-planned localities like Lakshmipuram, Vontikoppal, Nazarbad, N.R. Mohalla, Krishnamurthypuram, Chamaraja Mohalla, to name a few. The gallis were specifically meant for dumping garbage and the Municipal workers would come and collect it every day. Hence, most parts of the city were always clean, green and fresh.

Nearly 30 students of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Manasagangothri, fully understanding the importance of conservancies, have come forward to give them a new look. They have adopted a conservancy adjoining the Kalidasa Main Road in Ward No. 32 in VV Mohalla. Since many years, this conservancy was lying in a state of neglect and used by men for peeing. The result was there was a stench of urine all the time.

The students seen with area Corporator S.B.M. Manju.

The students, who observed this, approached the area Corporator S.B.M. Manju and requested him to give them a chance to convert this ugly lane into a model conservancy. Responding to the request, Manju on obtaining approval from Corporation Commissioner has joined hands with them to convert it into a beautiful garden.

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Dynamic students: Vishwajit leads the students of SPA in this noble cause. The other students include Allan, Raksha, Sneha, Pratheeksha, Arjun, Yoga, Abhiram, Tanusha and in all 30 of them have come together to set an example to others as to how even the most difficult of challenges can be overcome with dedication and hard work. The students while attending classes work from 5 pm to 9 pm and during holidays they work from morning 7 till evening 9.

Since planning and architecture is their subject, they are coming up with innovative ideas to convert a conservancy with dense growth of vegetation into a beckoning garden. They are using only waste and discarded materials. Thus, they are proving that by spending very little money even the worst looking place could be transformed into a welcome place.

As soon as one enters the garden, one would be welcomed with flowers planted in coconut shell pots. Strings have been tied to help the growth of creepers. Granite chips, jelly stones and other construction materials lying waste are being used to give the garden a modern, breezy look. In the middle, a beautiful circle in the form of a fountain is taking shape. About 10 stone benches will be installed so that the morning and evening walkers can sit on them and relax.

The students are also planning a beautiful walkway. The compounds abutting the conservancy are being transformed with bright coloured paints and the paintings of yogasanas in different postures showcases the skill of the budding architects. The banner carrying the message, “Do not urinate here,” and “Do not litter here,” alerts everyone.

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Speaking to Star of Mysore, Corporator Manju said, “In my own ward there are 15 such conservancies which have been converted into urinals. Added to that with the wild growth of bushes, it has become a haven for snakes and scorpions. I   receive lot of complaints from people in the locality about this. At this juncture the SPA students came to me and I was delighted with their initiative,” and added, “Since the last 25 days, the SPA students are displaying a lot of creativity and serving the society.”

Mayor M.J. Ravikumar, Corporation Commissioner G. Jagadeesha, the ward engineer and the public have all cooperated in this inspiring idea. It is just not the responsibility of the Corporators and Pourakarmikas to maintain the cleanliness of the city. Along with them if the NGOs, students and volunteers join hands, Mysuru could even regain the top spot for cleanliness in the country, said Manju.

SPA student Vishwajit speaking said, “The place was very unhygienic and unwieldy with full of bushes and wild growth. Hence, we had to make a lot of effort to clean the conservancy and each one of my boys and girls are working hard to transform this place and make it a model for others to follow. S.B.M. Manju cooperated with us by getting a JCB to clear the growth. Within a week the public can use this space.”

Two-and-a-half-years ago Let’s Do It! Mysore, an NGO had involved itself in clearing this place. A stone bench was also installed in front of Namaste building. As time passed, the public started neglecting the place and it returned to its original state.  However, the efforts of SPA students must be lauded for creating a garden here and helping maintain cleanliness.

— B.S. Prashanth, Let’s Do It! Mysore

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Youth work day and night to transform Galli into Garden”

  1. Nandakumar says:

    Good intent from enthusiastic youngsters. However, though conservancy lanes currently have thick and dense bushes, they are infact helping in giving green cover to Mysore. Thick bushes are not bad and there are not many snakes and scorpions in this ward, corporator may be exaggerating. Even if he is right, they are ways to solve snake problem. Also, these bushes and insects prevent public movement and provides a natural safety cover for the residents on either sides of the lane. By removing the bushes, these students are destroying the natural thick green cover. By laying pavements, chairs and small plants, they are preventing vegetation diversity, reducing green cover, and also destroyed small insects along with their natural habitat. These gardens need maintenance, over a period, these plants will die due to lack of maintenance and no bushes can grow due to stone pavements and chairs and fountain setups. This will become a public passage and residents will be at risk due to thieves who jump into houses from conservancy lanes. This will be a menace and risk to lives of residents. People who were peeing at the entrance of the lanes will start doing it throughout the lanes at night. These will become meeting point for immoral activities. ALso, making it a public passage also creates noise pollution throughout the day for residents who so far have been living in peace with sounds of birds chirping and insects screeching. In summary, intent of the students is good, but execution is bad. Instead, they could’ve just cleaned up the non degradable items along the conservancy lane, painted the walls, trimmed the bushes and put some stone made decorations at both the entrances. ALl we need to do is give a good impression at the entrance so people don’t feel like peeing and prevent public movement inside. I live in this area.

  2. Hunter says:

    To the person in the previous comment, Sir please enlighten yourself what hygiene means, not every green cover of unmaintained bushes is healthy, The students have made a place for children and adults to meet up. Immoral activities? what kind of neighborhood do you live in? Thieves find it easier to hide in bushes…I have no idea what makes you think they will try to do robbery in an open place. Install CCTV cameras, plants wont help you from thieves. Learn about urban planning, the balance in nature and urbanization, realize how important it is. Give a good impression at the entrance? seriously is that enough? The students have revamped the entire place to give a good impression. You say you live there…have you ever made an effort to improve the state of the conservancy lanes? have you people in the locality made an effort to pool money and paint the walls as you said?…They students have done their job, it is up to the locality people to maintain such beautiful places. Not peeing in such places should be a mentality, you think colorful entrances will stop people from peeing? You said people will miss the sound of birds and insects…well they are going to miss one more thing….the stench of urine too. We are not living in a jungle, but a beautiful place called Mysore…keeping it beautiful is a joint and continuous effort…more greenery does not mean a great place, but the balance between humans and nature makes it a great place. Thank you

    • Nandakumar says:

      I am enlightened enough about hygene but you should learn to improve your interpretation skills. Clearly you are not from this area, so you should rather hold your horses close. Conservancy areas are not for adults and children to meet up and they will not meet up, trust me kid. WHat kind of neighborhood I live in, I live in the neighborhood where murders happen on main road on daylight infront of busy super markets. Where do you live, in dharma kshetra kurukshetra? Don’t give gnan about people in locality, my first comment was appreciating the students, your comprehension skills are less than a school kid. THere is no question about the intent and quality of their work, these students must be appreciated. So, don’t give gas about keeping Mysore beautiful without knowing me. More greenery does mean better balance, you will realise when you get old. Balance between human and nature does not mean you make everything concrete and public place with few decorative plants. Its letting nature sustain itself. Thank you.

      • Hunter_x says:

        Well if you read the article, you would know they did not use concrete, but stones. Atleast in the place I live in, people don’t kill each other in broad daylight. As you said, I can’t talk about you , I say the same thing properly understand what the students did, this article has given a very limited exposure of the changes they made. My problem with your comment is not the negative feedback but the solutions you gave. I will realise it when I am old? I have done courses in urban planning , sustainable living , more greenness doesn’t mean great quality of life. We’ll both of us have poor comprehensive skills, if you could intepret the fact that I was trying to question your solutions.

  3. Regarding the disregarded says:

    Okay …. Leme get it straight the whole intension of this project was to identify a abandon and missused PUBLIC SPACE and convert it to a community space… well we Architecture students felt that our society needs to communicate with humans rather than machines [ after completion of this project neighbors entered this site with their happiest faces … Few people who live in same appartment next to the site started introducing them self with eachotha saying I live in so and so flat number, people know eachotha NOW like never before when thy stayed in a same building ] we witnessed how this space gonna change the attitude of human to human communication…. Well let’s move forward ….coming to the Thick GREEN whatever thing you’re conserned about well the nebihours Wer afraid of that and unhappy …. Wen we started our clean up we saw snaked moving around and getting into houses near by … Days later as we progressed it completely stopped coming to the site… may be those snakes found their new thick GREEN homes 😉 …. When people around that lane were happy enough to utilize that space and maintain it by them self ….. Appreciated our innitative …. I can literally go on and on because of the experience of cleaning my city giving it an alternative subject to it stays for ever and it’s priceless ….. Every one of us should start taking such innitative just to keep our surroundings clean and beautiful …. Rather than complaining that local bodies won’t do that and this …. The change is in our hand . Please do check this link
    Shows the transformation and appreciation … Thanku


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