Money troubles of the poor; Are these women leading?; Feed your neighbour

In this edition, we start a new series, Insights into Bengaluru, with an indepth story on the financial issues of the urban poor. Read about the newly elected women corporators to the BBMP council and the latest happening on the Agara-Bellandur SEZ front. Check out our features on the Feed Your Neighbour initiative, and about one of Bengaluru's forgotten architects, Otto Koenigsberger.

Bengaluru this week

October 8th 2015


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In this edition, we start a new series that provides Insights into Bengaluru. We start with an indepth story on the financial issues of Bengaluru’s poor and the vicious cycle of debt. Also read about the newly elected women corporators to the BBMP council and the latest happening on the Agara-Bellandur SEZ front. Check out our features on the Feed Your Neighbour initiative, and about one of Bengaluru’s forgotten architects, Otto Koenigsberger.

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This week’s highlight: The vicious circle of poverty

Alamelu works as maid in an apartment. After returning to her home in Swatantrapalya, she rolls incense sticks. Pic: Shree D N

Ever heard of Meter Baddi system? Or ever taken a loan from a local moneylender, at more than 4 to 5% interest per week??? Many families in Bengaluru get by with the help of such loans, paying hefty amount as interest, and getting trapped in the vicious circle of borrowing, spending, borrowing again to repay the old loan.

Check out the first article in Citizen Matters’ new series ‘Insights into Bengaluru’, on the urban poor and their finances. Read: Bengaluru’s slum dwellers: trapped, bankrupt and poor forever.

Leading Bengaluru

This time around, women outnumber the men in the BBMP council. In the past, many of them have received flak for not talking during council meetings, not being available over calls etc. What can Bengaluru expect from the women corporators in the current city council? Read: Will the women corporators in BBMP shine this time?

Agara-Bellandur SEZ update

With Mantri Developers issuing an unconditional apology, the National Green Tribunal dismissed the contempt of court case filed by NGOs, after an expert committee member was reportedly stopped from entering the SEZ premises. Read: Builder group regrets attack on lake expert, court dismisses contempt petition.

The heroes among us

If every home in Bengaluru cooked an additional meal, would it ensure that the hungry don’t go to bed on an empty stomach? Here’s a community initiative that’s looking to do just that. Read: Feeding someone in need, five meals at a time.

On the road

A bus shelter and an expansive walkway were inaugurated near ITPB as part of Xerox’s CSR project in association with Whitefield Rising. Read: Making Whitefield safer.

Why did the Open Streets initiative at HSR Layout receive negative feedback from some people? Resistance comes from the biased mindset, says Sakuntala Narasimhan. Read: Is our attitude the biggest obstacle to vehicle-free streets?

Voice of the people

This tree is expected to be taken down to present a clear view of the white lake and advertising space on the opposite building. Pic: Rajesh Shah

A lake frothing with snow, traffic ‘jams’ whose taste never leaves, a pharmacy every 100 metres, 80% of pedestrians wearing masks, more advertisements per sqft of building surface… Here’s a tongue-in-cheek list of all the records set by Whitefield. Read: Whitefield Shining – breaking global records!

Living by the lake

Here’s an update on what’s happening in and around Kaikondrahalli lake with respect encroachments, fishing, fencing and more. Read: Violations, trespassing, sewage and more.

With Bellandur lake frothing once again, a community meeting has been called for on October 11th to discuss concrete steps to save the lake. Read: Meeting to save Bellandur lake.

Builders of Bengaluru

Krishna Rao Pavillion, 1941. Pic: MOD Institute

A new book on German architect Otto Koenigsberger, traces his contribution to Bengaluru. Here’s an excerpt from the book describing his work on the KR Pavilion, City Bus Terminus and Municipal Swimming Pool: Remembering Otto Koenigsberger.

Food for thought

Why are school students made to write so much, that too by hand, considering that it is something they will not do too often after they complete their education? Our newest and youngest blogger writes about the difficulty of writing right.

The week that was

  • A recent survey by BBMP has revealed that of the 6,119 hoardings in the city, only 2,000 are legal. The BBMP Commissioner placed the report before Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi on Tuesday, who had asked for the report in the backdrop of BBMP’s decision to lift the ban on hoardings in the city.
  • The issue of potholes has now reached the doorsteps of the High Court. A residents group has filed a petition in the HC, calling out various accidents that have occurred due to bad roads. The HC has issued a notice to the Urban Development department in connection with the petition.
  • Following the alleged sexual assault of a BPO employee near Madiwala on Saturday night, police have arrested two suspects. The accused, both drivers by profession, had allegedly taken the girl around in the tempo traveller and raped her at an isolated spot on Old Madras Road.
  • In yet another incident, three male BPO employees were robbed and sexually assaulted in an isolated place in Ragigudda. Three men have been arrested in this regard.
  • In a shocking incident, a burqa-clad woman stole a newborn from Bowring Hospital on Sunday. The City Police has since traced the baby to the kidnapper’s relative’s home in Shimoga, and have reunited the baby with his mother.
  • The heavy rains that lashed some parts of Bengaluru in the last few days, affected normal life. Low-lying areas were inundated in places like T Dasarahalli and RR Nagar. Blocked drains caused flooding in some parts of the city.
  • According to the recent socio-economic and caste census, 32,803 of 23,17,877 households in Bengaluru do not have power connection. As far as the State is concerned, 1,32,849 of the total 50,90,399 households do not have electricity connection.

Events this week

  • Lots in store for music aficionados in the coming days:
    • Jazz concert by Madras Special at Seva Sadan on October 8th
    • Anant Gatha, a full length concert by renowned flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall on October 9th
    • Jazz duo, Animata is performing at Seva Sadan on October 9th
    • Oriental dub artist Fedayi Pecha is taking the stage at Humming Tree on October 9th
  • Experience the tall and short of Bengaluru’s cathedrals at the Cathedral Walk on October 10th.
  • Wander through Kempe Gowda’s ‘pettah’ area and pay a visit to the area’s last surviving weavers at the Pettah Walk on October 10th.
  • Understand the significance of goddesses of the Navaratri festival at Devi Mahatme, a lecture on the topic, at Vanamala Centre on October 10th.
  • Celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland at Urban Solace on October 11th. The event will include a screening of the 1951 animated film adaptation as well.
  • Watch the production of A Doll’s House, a play that every woman can relate to on October 11th at Alliance Francaise.
  • Attend the screening of Au-delà du nuage, a documentary on Japan after the Fukushima disaster at Alliance Francaise on October 14th.

Click here for the complete list of events in Bengaluru.





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