Billion Trees and Beyond Episode #: 14 - 18: Plantation at Indira Canteen, Vidyapeetha Ward (Ward 164)

Looks like Indira Canteen is an excellent spot for the plantation drive. Apparently, there are 146 Indira canteens in Bengaluru.  Each Indira canteen is located strategically close to some government empty available land within the community, and it is a public place, so it should be an excellent choice to inspire the public with Mexican Sunflower beauty.

That was my thinking, so when I went to the Indira Canteen near by (Ward 164), I was quite delighted for multiple reasons: 1. There is a dedicated kitchen garden space at the other end of the compound, ideal spot for plantation  2. The staff are friendly, eco-friendly, and wanting to help. 3. Apparently there is an opportunity to repeat the plantation at all of the 146 Indira canteens in the city. 4. There is a likely chance that the staff and the organization running these canteens could eventually become a strategic partner in this drive for the respective local community.

The supervisor of the canteen (sorry, forgot his name) took charge, did not allow me to dig. He chose the spots in the kitchen garden, Ravi, another staff came forward to dig and dug all the five holes in the ground, made my job easy. It was evening and it was just before the opening for the evening session, so the staff were bit free.  By the time we were done, it was time to open the canteen for the business, I was invited to try the food, they refused the payment for my dinner, the food was quite good, there was an instant bond in the whole experience.

Ravi is at the left who did all the hard work. The one in the middle is the Marshall of the place. One in the right is the active supervisor who took charge of the plantation (He is on the scooter, being differently enabled). The kitchen garden is in the background where the plantation was carried out.

Ravi on the left, apparently is very service oriented, he signed up to be an volunteer for the future efforts. I have his number now.

This Indira canteen has lot of space for the public, I wish we could eventually have trees on the sides too, which will require some digging of the concrete finish.

When we were done with plantaiton, it was 7.30 pm and the place was ready for the evening business, I was the first customer as I wanted to try the food for the first time here.

The dinner food available was Bisibele Bhath with sambar. The hosts refused to take money from me, so  I was a guest and this was a treat for me. I was bit overwhelmed by their friendship and love. The food was good, the sambar enhanced the taste. Otherwise, this food was costing Rs. 10. I told them that I din't come here before because it could rob the opportunity for a poor person to have the same. They said, it is not like that, anyone could come, and all kind of people come, the most impressive (impressive to them) customers are a gang of film makers who come in the Benz car. 

What I noticed that they have less customers than they deserve, and it could be due to the same confusion I have. But, they do have their regular customers who are coming there not just because it is cheap.  Bottom line, if someone wants to have food for the day, it will cost only Rs. 25 per day here (Breakfast: Rs. 5, lunch: Rs. 10, dinner: Rs. 10).

The staff who served me. Ravi in the action again here, with the uniform now. The second plate is for the second customer who just walked in.

Episode # 14 through 18: (Five planted) 
Date of documentation: Sept 8, 2018
Place: ITI Layout, Indira Canteen, Ward 164, Banashankari 3rd Stage, Bangalore 560085, India
Type of place: Public, by the road side
Persons Responsible: Planted by Ravi (canteen staff), the supervisor and Nataraja Upadhya; Care by the canteen staff
Picture of the plant (with or without your selfie and optionally with the caretakers):

Plant description: Mexican Sunflower (Mini Bush Tree, can grow upto 20-25 feet)
Location of the plant: (Stand by the plant and use the Send Current location feature of the Whatsapp to create this map)
Indira Canteen, Vidyapeetha Ward (164)
(Click to see)
Date planted: Sept 6, 2018
Remarks:  These plantations are within the kitchen garden of the Indira Canteen compound. The staff helped to plant, and will take care of the plantation. Some of them like to help with future plantations.

So, now I am eager to repeat the same game in other Indira canteens near by, and who knows, all the Bangalore Indira canteens may be covered with some help we will need.  The Indira canteen could also become a strategic partner for the public interface for this drive locally. Let us see!

Best Regards,
Nataraja Upadhya
Billion Trees and Beyond
Paint Bengaluru Green and More (ಬೆ೦ಗಳೂರಿಗೆ ಹಸಿರು ಓಕಳಿ)


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