-48-year-old Ishwarappa, a resident of ward number 108 in Bengaluru, is a Mep coordinator at a consultancy firm. When he is not at work, he can be seen on the streets- in between his home in Rajajinagar and his office in Banaswadi- taking pictures of illegal hoardings, potholes, and even garbage.
He then emails them to the concerned government department- BBMP or BWSSB- so that the problems are taken care of.
-Jayalakshmi K resides in Mahalakshipura layout and is a civic leader who works on community projects. Earlier this year, the social worker organised a drive along with the Resident Welfare Association of Nandini Layout to get rid of illegal flex boards, posters and banners dotting the area.
-Kavitha Reddy from HSR layout works, among other things, on issues related to lakes in and around the area. One of the recent projects that she worked in was saving the Agara lake. Their motive, she states, is a "clean, green and garbage free HSR Layout".
-Sagar Sathish is a vegetable merchant by day and a citizen who works towards civic and social causes by night. A resident of Marappanapalya, his work on human rights has taken him to Nepal and more recently Taiwan.
What links these otherwise ordinary Bengaluru-residents together is a civic leadership programme that they underwent, one which they say has changed their perspective on how civic issues are usually viewed and helped them become change makers. All the four were part of the B.PAC Civic Leadership Incubator Program (B.CLIP).
What is B.CLIP?
A flagship initiative of B.PAC, B.CLIP "selects, trains and supports talented individuals who wish to transform their city by contesting municipal corporation elections. By equipping candidates with skills in public policy analysis, municipal administration, political landscape and election campaign dynamics, the incubator project will create a pipeline of candidates that B.PAC and other civil society organizations find suitable to endorse for the future elections."
Every year, scores of applications are made for the programme of which only a select group is accepted and trained.
Revathy Ashok, Managing Trustee and CEO of BPAC, said that the program aims to introduce more change makers who will work towards the betterment of the city.
Take the example of Sufiyan, who was part of the second batch of B.Clip. As someone who has been working in the social service sector for around eight years now, he works towards the improvement of his ward- number 110.
And this year, he says, they have decided to have an eco-friendly Ramzan in the city, especially in and around the Shivajinagar area.
"46 mosques have implemented a plastic ban, 36 of which have a 100% plastic ban. 200 sets of steel cutlery have been sent to each of these mosques so that they don't have to use plastic or thermocol ones. Waste segregation is now also being followed in 32 mosques," he said.
He further added, "Ramzan is the month of charity and we wanted to do something for the future of our children. While 80% of the people were cooperative and welcomed the idea, 20% were initially reluctant, but they too agreed later."
If you are a resident of Bengaluru, are eligible to vote and contest elections and have an interest in public service, B.PAC is receiving applications for B.CLIP now. To know more, click here.