Bengaluru's eyesore, Bellandur lake, is often in the news for all the wrong reasons. You would expect that most people would know to keep away from the highly polluted and toxic water body. But this was not the case for six teens who wanted to dive into the lake on Friday.
Vigilant lake marshals stopped six boys from Ambedkar Nagar slum, who had made their way to the buffer zone near the Bellandur lake, and we're getting ready to dive into the water body in nothing but innerwear.
The reason they gave: they wanted to swim in the lake just like their grandparents, who, in their time, wouls take a dip in the nearby waterbody for refreshment.
Wesly Fernandes, in charge of patrolling teams at Bellandur Lake, said that the boys were between 12 and 15 years of age, and had just come back from the government school that they attend.
"There's a BWSSB sewage treatment plant there. There is a lot of stench but still the boys from slum areas come sometimes wanting to swim in the lake, but our men usually send them away. I don't think the children know it's polluted," he added.
Colonel Basavaraj, who is in charge of the lake marshals, told TNM that young boys and men also come there for other acrivities. "A lot of times young boys and men, especially from the nearby slum areas come to the lake to smoke, or drink, or to attend nature's call, and yes, even to swim. Our marshals are there, and they usually prevent them and shoo them away," he said.
He also said that they have to keep an eye on such activities not only because diving into the lake is dangerous, but also because of the risk of a fire starting in the lake because of the beedis or cigarettes being disposed of there.