Woman tracks defunct streetlights

Woman tracks defunct streetlights

Meet Anindita Nayak, a 27-year-old streetlight warrior who is on a mission to map the state of all street lights in the city.

Anindita, a senior product analyst at InMobi, a mobile innovation company, lives in Kaikondrahalli and travels to Kabudeesanahalli on her two-wheeler.

She found commuting to her workplace difficult as the streets were poorly lit. "I begin and end my day using the outer ring road. The road is badly lit and I don't feel safe. Instead of coming home relaxed, I find it a harrowing experience. It is a nightmare for cyclists too," Anindita said.

In her search for possible solutions, she recently came across an app called GoMap!, a mobile application on iOS software (available on Apple phones) and another called Open Street Map, which gives an identity to the place and began a daily exercise to check every streetlight along the outer ring road from Iblur junction to Kabudeesanahalli and also Sarjapur Road. In a span of three days, she manually checked close to 660 streetlights and updated information online about their condition. "Of the 660 streetlights, only 38% are working," she said.

"The exercise was not easy since it had to be done only at night. I used to do this after work," she added.

Though she started this exercise all by herself initially, she asked one of her friends to accompany her since the roads were poorly lit and not safe.

It took her close to 6-10 seconds to update information about each street light. "It was really shocking to see the state of these lights. Streetlights are already in place. All that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) must do is maintain them," she says and adds that she will provide this information to the BBMP.

Anindita has also complained about this several times but has not received any response.

She plans to continue this exercise across the city. "I know it is a massive job to check streetlights of all roads, but I want to keep up the momentum," she said. She plans to cover HSR Layout first.

Anindita recalls how one of her close friends lost his father as he hit a speed breaker on a dark Hosur Road.

She says that one can show civic authorities that citizens are not turning a blind eye to what is happening around and hold them responsible.

"We get so busy in our everyday lives that we choose to ignore the inconveniences that we face. We need to persuade authorities till these issues are fixed," she said.

Anindita has also shared her experience in a blog titled "The Silence of the Lamps".

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