Sunday, October 31, 2021

Biome at Bhoomi College 2021

Biome Environmental Trust conducted a three day training program at Bhoomi College from 27th to 29th October 2021. 

Day 1:
The very first session of the training was taken up by Mr.Vishwanath. He started by setting a context to water management in urban and rural areas and discussed the best practices, challenges and trends in sustainable water management practices. 

The second session of the day was taken up by Rakshitha who discussed wastewater management in Indian cities and towns. She introduced the concept of wastewater by discussing on-site and off-site sanitation systems in detail. In her presentation she focused on the water and sanitation practices in Devanahalli town in detail and quickly walked through the formal and informal sanitation practices in Tumakuru city and Bengaluru metropolis.  

Day 2: 

The second day of the training was a field trip day. Suma took the students to see the recharge wells at Cubbon Park. They also interacted with the well digger Ramakrishna who had dug the recharge wells. After the Cubbon Park visit, they visited Sanjay Nagar government school where Shivanand and Srivalli took them around the school to explain the implementation, design and work process of the rainwater harvesting system implemented in the school.The last destination was Devanahalli town. Shivanand and Srivalli explained the prominence of Sihineerukere and wells and the change in paradigm after urbanization. They explained the present importance of lake with entry of treated wastewater under the HN valley project which in turn recharged the old wells bringing back their past glory. They briefed the group about the rejuvenation of  an old well with a view to integrate the well water into the panchayat water supply making it the first of its kind in town water supply. 

Day 3:

Day 3 was an open house session. Shubha started the session by creating a checklist of questions that the students wanted to discuss (and yes the board  was full). Rakshitha presented the Million Wells campaign. Post tea break Shubha walked everyone through the "" website, played videos on water management in schools, the recharge wells and the Earth mural etc. Post lunch students were taken to Prakriya school in the same campus to see the DEWATS (Decentralized Wastewater System) which treats the grey water from the kitchen. Students opened the lids of the settling tanks, the monitoring pipe lids and walked on top of the jelly packing in the phytorid system. 

It started to rain while walking back to Bhoomi college which triggered students to ask practical questions on the gradient, flooding and to show us the stormwater recharging pit in their campus. The last presentation was on two case studies from Million Wells - Railwheel Factory and Nandideepa apartment which was discussed by Rakshitha. Shubha wound up the session by answering the questions listed on the board. 

It was my first visit to Bhoomi College. I was told Bhoomi has a beautiful campus, it follows an informal and holistic education, students from diverse backgrounds and age groups would be participating. The intro was exciting. This was in fact the first group gathering post Covid. I loved the beautiful earth block buildings, the calm and serene campus, the garden, Carbon (the cat with bright green eyes) and of course the wholesome food. I personally enjoyed talking about Devanahalli and Railwheel Factory's best water management practices. I loved the questions students asked, the favorite one being "Who coined the term Honeysuckers?". This was my question too and it was so much fun to figure out it is Vishu sir's coinage!. Cheers to all the giggles, laughter and mischievous fun!. 

- Rakshitha

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