On 19th March, 2016 we presented the RISE HIGH AWARD 2016 to Blue Ridge, Pune, during the workshop for management committee members: Neighborhoods of Tomorrow, for some exemplary neighborhood initiatives being conducted by the residents and management committee in and around their apartment complex. We salute the great work being done in Blue Ridge and thank you for epitomizing our logo of Rise High.
“Builder makes the High Rise.
The Community makes it Rise High..”
The Rise High Award is the only award in India, recognizing Apartment Community Initiatives. As a part of the 2016 chapter of the awards, more than 200 entries came in from across India, among them 35 was shortlisted. The first runner up was The Imperial, Mumbai, India’s highest residential towers. The second runner up was Palm Greens, Ahmedabad.
Mr P.C Mohan, Honorable Minister of Parliament from Bangalore, was a part of our workshop: Neighborhoods of Tomorrow and presented the RISE HIGH AWARD 2016 to Dr. Pravin Shirude, from Blue Ridge, collecting the award on behalf of the Management Committee of Blue Ridge.
Below are some of the inspiring work being conducted at Blue Ridge:
How it all started:
Two years ago, being a new society with near strangers from all over India as neighbours there was little social interaction initially. In order to change this we decided to start celebrating as many festivals as possible. During the course of these celebrations we found that attendance of the elderly was lacking.
said, Mr. Tanmay Chitale, Secretary, Blue Ridge, Pune
1. The Parivartan Room
With the help of a few eager volunteers a room was set up with the intention to make it a room for newspaper reading. The elders embraced this idea, and started visiting this room with a lot of enthusiasm. A volunteer drive was initiated and about 30 odd books were collected and kept in the room for more reading. Today this collection of books is around 400 odd and growing. This room had turned into a full fledged library and center for resident’s interactions.
2. Internet and Computer classes for the elderly
Being a society attached with ADDA almost all of our communication is through the forum and the Parivartan group as the elderly now call themselves could not really participate in the discussions. Ajay, a tenant in the society decided to change this and volunteered to help them learn basics of using a Computer and Internet. Classes are held daily with nearly 30-35 “young” and eager seniors attending on an average. The efforts of the volunteers had the desired effect and now our seniors are one united force guiding us with their wisdom.
continues, Mr. Tanmay Chitale, Secretary, Blue Ridge, Pune.
Now the elders in Blue Ridge not only attend all festival celebrations, but during last Ganpati Puja a group of them performed a dance on stage and won at an inter society competition that Blue Ridge builder (Paranjpe Group) conducts.
3. Tackling the Electricity Bill
Like all societies reducing expenses has always been in our minds. We saw that electricity was taking up nearly rupees 12 lakhs per month. We decided to reduce this on a war footing. With literally hundreds of engineers staying at one place we did a survey ourselves and identified lighting as the area where we could save the most.
told us, Mr. Tanmay Chitale.
Whereas some lights in homes are are on for nearly 10 hours daily. The lights in the basement were on for all 24 hours as there was very little natural light there. All the traditional lights in the society was replaced with LEDs. In the basement a system was installed with the help of motion sensors wherein 80% of the lights are off most of the time. Anyone entering the basement either by vehicle or from the lifts triggers the sensors and the lights in his tower basement are turned on. People literally notice no change but the society conserved a lot of electricity. Along with this service elevators was turned off during non peak hours to increase savings.
With these basic measures electricity consumption was nearly halved in a matter of 6 months.
Plans are also made for solar installations to be done on the apartment rooftops and the power to be fed into the grid for net metering wherein the electricity Blue Ridge generates is set off against their consumption. By 2017 Blue Ridge is planning to become self sufficient society as far as electricity goes. And the capital expense incurred shall be recovered in further two years time.
To be honest we did this with purely economic intentions but seeing these measures undertaken we were joined by environment sensitive members of our society.
continues, Mr. Tanmay Chitale.
4. Waste Management
Waste management is a mandate from the government in Bangalore, and hence almost all apartment complexes in Bangalore have already adopted waste segregation and disposal. However, for other cities, waste management is not a mandate. Blue Ridge, Pune by adopting waste management is setting an example for apartment complexes across country, how being environmentally conscious, an apartment complex can bring about positive change in their entire neighborhood.
How often do we see the builders and the management committee working towards a common goal? But in Blue Ridge that is exactly what has happened.
With the help of environment sensitive member of our society, we set about the task of waste segregation and disposal. The builder helped us tremendously by setting aside a small patch of land just for this and setting up a composting plant. We thank our builder, Paranjpe Group for this, first builder I’ve seen who sacrificed profit for the environment.
added, Mr. Tanmay Chitale.
With the manure that is made at Blue Ridge, 80% is sold to a nearby golf course, who pays Blue Ridge at market price. This takes care of the labour and transport cost involved. The rest of the money is donated to The Blue Ridge Public School for maintaining their cricket ground and gardens. In return the school lets residents of Blue Ridge use their ground after school hours and on weekends which is a boon for the young bachelors staying in the society. It’s a win win situation, and all this is being done while Blue Ridge is doing their bit for the environment.
5. Welfare Schemes for Domestic Staff
Segregation begins at home and therefore we held regular seminars and training classes for all the ladies, kids and maids. It is the kids who today scold their parents if they don’t segregate. It was convincing the maids that was the challenge. For this one of us came up with a brilliant and simple solution. To make segregation lucrative for them we decided to sell the recyclables that are not composted and create a scholarship fund for the deserving children of the maids and other staff. We took it a step further and asked our residents to donate their old newspapers and card boards to be sold for this fund.
said, Mr. Tanmay Chitale.
In 8 months time Blue Ridge Society Association managed to generate close to Rs. 50,000 to be given out as scholarship in the coming year.
Our congratulations to both the Management Committee of Blue Ridge, for working on so many neighborhood initiatives and also to the residents for supporting the causes and helping out to make each initiative a grand success. We also take a bow to the Management Committee of Blue Ridge for spearheading all the initiatives. Their actions bears testimony to the fact that if you have right goals in mind, getting support from residents and even the builders is not that difficult!
How did your ADDA portal help towards successful implementation of your initiatives?
ADDA portal was vital for communication and justification of all the drives mentioned above. The support from our non resident members who would be paying money for such initiatives that would affect them little was communicated through ADDA and was the biggest motivating factor for our volunteers.
says, Mr. Tanmay Chitale, Hon’ble Secretary, Blue Ridge, Pune
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