Yes We Can!

The current political scene in our country is disheartening. The ruling parties, both at state and central level, appear to have the welfare of the citizens as the very last item on their list. The opposition parties are no less, fair-weather friends and bedfellows of convenience. In such a gloomy climate, what can we honestly hope for?

Enter the Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs).

What is fantastic is their can-do spirit that is at such odds with the depressing news in our newspapers every morning! I’ve been part of our local Residents’ Welfare Association email group for quite a few months now. I am constantly surprised by the sheer energy of this group. Committed individuals, determined to make a difference, pour so much of time, energy, and passion to make our neighbourhood a lovely and safe place to stay in. Whenever I read the mails, I am filled with optimism and joy. They are such an inspiration really, on how to roll up sleeves and actually get things done.

Our RWA opened a free library, spruced up a park so beautifully that it is a pleasure nowadays to visit, implemented waste segregation, installed a leaf-shredder/composter in the park and made the compost available to people at a nominal rate, started restoring a neighbourhood lake, took on the authorities to halt construction of a badly planned bypass, setup an AADHAAR camp, started computer tutorial, knitting, quilting, and bhajan sessions for senior citizens… The list is endless.

The residents constantly share, help, and motivate each other. I have never seen the emails degenerate into a slanging match as is wont to happen with differences in opinion. Respectfully engaging each other, the residents actually work to resolve problems, not just discuss them endlessly. I feel fortunate to be privy to the discussions and the depth of knowledge that each resident brings to the table.

From what I gather, quite a few of the RWAs all around Bangalore are a determined and purposeful bunch, working bit by bit to make our neighbourhoods livable and lovable.

Being part of any voluntary committee, be at the apartment complex level or at the neighbourhood level is a thankless job. People are quick to criticize and complain, but seldom remember to thank the volunteers who do such a fantastic job.

To all of them, my kudos and my gratitude for making my Bangalore the lovely place it is.

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