Our Bengaluru has changed tremendously over the last two decades. On the one hand, the old pleasures of a cycle ride through the city are long gone, but on the other, this is a city fast expanding and brimming with entrepreneurial energy - it is India’s Silicon Valley. I belong to both these Bangalores. As an old Bangalorean, I want to preserve the gentle culture, heritage and ‘livability’ of the city that I grew up in.
As the city expands, it also faces its share of issues– it is not as safe as it was, it has become crowded and polluted, and the roads are a source of stress. High on my agenda are issues of public transport and infrastructure, but I also want clean neighbourhood parks for children to play in and outdoor activities in large open spaces that will bring families and communities together. I want every section of the society to have dignified housing. I seek to give back to the citizens of the city, especially the women, the basic right of being able to walk confidently on the streets at any time of the day. I want to ensure that Bengaluru puts in place measures to ensure adequate water quantity and quality.
Reviving the city‘s lakes is also on my agenda. I envision Bengaluru as a mix of high-growth around patches of green and oases of calm: a combination of the old and the new. Even as our city’s industries grow and it earns fame as an IT-BT hub, a large number of students are plagued by job uncertainty. As a Professor, I understand the need to arm students with knowledge, skills and soft skills to match the changing requirements of a tough global market. We need to channel the expertise of our IT sector to provide a platform that bridges the knowledge divide between rich and poor, between rural and urban. I want every young Bangalorean to have the exposure and opportunities that I have had the good fortune to enjoy.
Bangalore North is the future of our city. Its transformation can only be realised when the Corporators, MLAs, party workers and the citizens are inspired to come together with determination to solve our problems. I have consistently implemented this approach and have witnessed real change. We have inspired people to keep their neighbourhoods clean. In a similar vein, we are working on identifying gaps in urban infrastructure near the Hebbal Flyover and the KR Puram bridge, and eliminating garbage black spots and unsafe places for women in the city. As I engage with the local representatives and people to implement solutions, I see that all of us, as Bengaluru’s citizens, are willing to come together to make a positive difference to this city.
I believe that we must stop pointing fingers and instead join hands to solve the problems we face as a city and as a country. We must work together to tackle infrastructural and systemic problems by involving the youth, citizens and decision makers to transform Bengaluru. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said, Bangalore is “India’s city of the future”. Let us combine the best of Bengaluru: our entrepreneurial spirit, our God-given environment, our youthful energy and our unique identity as Bangaloreans, to build a city that builds on the best of the past while reaching to new frontiers of the future.