The People Participation with Passion (PPP) Mode
Safe, Bright and Congestion Free through the night! Enter this reformed Fort B Street, that leads to one of Bengaluru’s oldest and congested notorious hubs called Fort Bengaluru. Our bigger lead here is the new society code, I call it the People Participation with Passion – PPP mode that is truly a step forward to living in civic harmony.
This seed of Swachatha Swastya Samaja is a written celebration of this success chapter of the Bengaluru Fort Area Welfare Trust (BFAWT), in its fourth year of existence. Cheers to the many hawk-eyed volunteers, well-minded officials, journalists and the 24/7 active WhatsApp group that has been in constant work to achieve this impossible makeover.
Tell me and I Forget. Teach Me and I Remember. Involve Me and I Learn. –Benjamin Franklin
Thoughts of KC Janardhan, Edited & Curated by Aarthi R Nandakishore
Not long ago, a walk through the same Fort B Street looked like this, even worse. This crucial connecting street in its deliberate dim lighting was also one of this neighbourhood’s notorious link Quick pick-pocketing, mobile and chain snatching, illicit liquor trade is just a few sample shots to display the variety of deadly cocktails that have been long served to us, the residents.
I call this place, the POK – PRIVATE bus OCCUPIED KOTE of Old Bengaluru. All pun intended, with the plight of people living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. As citizens of the Democratic Republic of India, we even doubted if these local fear factors steadily held us captive as mute spectators for years, even watching those who raised their voices silenced by death threats! I was also served a few threats, also successfully faced and diffused a Murder Attempt on me. More about it in the next cycles.
These illegally parked buses here further intensified the crimes happening in this locality to which I raised my voice. Parked for days or months together, these buses had become the chosen rooms for street prostitution, exchange of counterfeit money, drugs and gambling. Less said the better, about the diesel fumes, smoke, rubber dust from local tyre re-treaders, dirty black engine oil spilt on roads alongside the heavy noise of loading and unloading parcels on footpaths leaving no foot space on our footpaths and the blaring air horns being constantly heard starting 4 am and extended beyond midnight.
During the lockdown phase of COVID-19 early this year, we successfully got these illegally parked buses removed for road works and held them at bay until September 2020. But these habitual offenders were back in no time. Unfortunately, in the last 30 years, these private bus operators illegally occupied it for parking and repair works. Even the BMTC and KSRTC followed suit in illegal parking outside the Bus Stand. In no time, the rapid influx of floating population from across the state came here to pile up mounds of garbage left unattended because of squabbles between the BMTC, BBMP and the Private Bus Operators making matters worse!
On Record: Fort B Street is a clear Residential zone. The reality in broad daylight is a happening Commercial zone with many vendors encroaching the streets and footpaths. Fort B Street is one of the main approaches for the residents to get out to work and get back home, and also the main approach for all the devotees of one of the oldest temples here of Lord Jalakanteshwara. You can imagine the plight of the residents who had to navigate through all these challenges en route and live it daily.
Many neighbours here are from the pastoral community. Some of them are also known as dreaded goondas and wanted criminals. Their cows tied to lampposts and electric poles along the road turned into an eyesore ‘cow mafia’. The garbage and cow dung menace was a collective representation of the unbearable stink raised by all the nefarious activities and the many Mafias that exist here. We also have some reported evidence to share how even the public toilet here on Fort B Street was a shame. Do we need more reasons to validate why this area was even blacklisted or stamped `negative area’ by some organised financing sectors and lending agencies?
On a lighter note, a few friends have also mocked me for being this well-dressed gentleman in a suit, living an eventful life in an area perfectly suited for the gangster genre. To top it all, I was also wearing the trilby hat. They said I reminded them of the Italian mafia they enjoyed watching in The Godfather (1972); the movie set in a Sicilian and American backdrop. Maybe these narrow lanes of the Fort area also resembled the infamous Don’s alley in Brazil to them. Coincidentally, our good old Fort area also started deteriorating during the 70s.
The only missing prop in my Don’s attire was the pistol which was replaced by the classic and majestic Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen in hand.
All this to proverbially and practically prove the point that the pen is always mightier than the sword. Another humorous coincidence here is that whenever I travel by air with this Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 fountain pen, I am asked to write with it and prove that it is a fountain pen with a piston filling system and not a pistol in disguise! Believe me, it has always happened to me at the Security checks in the Bengaluru – Kempegowda International Airport.
Truth be told, Don refers to a University teacher, especially a senior member of a college, like Oxford and Cambridge. Interestingly, I have also taught Italic handwriting at Oxford and His Excellency, Lorenzo Angeloni, the Italian Ambassador to India inaugurated my museum J’s La Quill in 2016.
His coming here on my invitation, of course, was a major turning point that started all this positive change for real at the Fort Area. This was also the first time in the history of Fort Bengaluru. will talk about all that in greater detail in the next season of Saptha Beej.
For now, we leave you with this parting shot to mull over and take the oath as a responsible citizen living in any part of the city, district, state, country or just anywhere on the globe. (Seed Gyan). We have heard of doctors taking the Hippocrates oath, Our politicians also take oath orally in a grand public ceremony, but many of their real actions are doused unceremoniously with Hypocrisy. This is true of politicians of my locality but Fight We Must – THE PPP Way Forward.
Introducing Voice-over Seed Gyan by the Maestro. Click on the icon to listen to the audio file.
THE WIND-UP NOTE :
It is my earnest appeal to every concerned Bangalorean to join us (BFAWT) in this Crusade to Rejuvenate and Resurrect Bengaluru Fort Locality to enhance the true value of Brand Bengaluru in Reality!
This Seed Gyan is a healthy mix of some of the greatest motivation lines of Winston Churchill during World War II. Hope you enjoyed the read as much as we enjoyed putting our ground experience in this fresh blog perspective. Do drop in your comments and feedback below. Stay connected with us to read the following chapters of this Fort saga and the new PPP mode.