Group photo of the interns with Mr.Vishwanath
This past Thursday the Biome team of interns visited the lovely home of Mr.Vishwanath, the founder of Biome who has since partially retired after spending 50 years working with water for the government and then Biome. He welcomed us into his home and invited us to sit on his couch where we discussed various topics over a cup of tea. Initially we discussed simple topics like where we are staying, our thoughts on India so far and why we were interested in being here. Eventually we worked our way towards discussions about Biome and the theory behind why and how Mr.Vishwanath ended up founding Biome. He declared that it was just a happy accident after growing tired of government work. We sipped glasses of water that came directly from the Bay of Bengal or more accurately rainfall from the collection system above the house. We talked about the work Biome is currently doing to rejuvenate lakes in the area and the various successes and challenges that come with developing a new process like this. Primarily we discussed how this system uses treated wastewater to refill these lakes and the difficulties with monitoring these processes.
Mrs.Vishwanath’s collection of frog figurines
After more discussion Mr.Vishwanath offered to give us a tour of his lovely home. We were staggered by the beautiful architecture and natural light that hit the corners of every room. This was in addition to the red brick infrastructure that came directly from the dirt and clay that once filled the ground where the cellar now resided. We traveled to the roof and saw the garden along with the most beautiful composting toilet we had ever seen. Then Mr.Vishwanath excused himself to go talk on national TV and we continued to admire the house, the book lined walls, and all the potted plants.
Picture of the kitchen
Subsequent to talking with a national audience, Mr.Vishwanath sat with us again and we discussed our goals specific to our program with the University of Washington. We have been working on a solution that we believe will help aid in the water crisis in Bengaluru and we pitched this idea to Mr.Vishwanath. He gave us a lot of valuable feedback about challenging ourselves and developing a solution that pushes the boundaries even if we “fail spectacularly”. We are currently working on developing this solution and hope to spend our final three weeks here working hard on making a difference.
Last Friday (16/02/2024), Biome had an organization lunch at The Green Path Organic Restaurant. There, we got to put faces to the names from our organization’s team chat. Other members of Biome also got to meet each other for the first time!
We started the event off in a conference room, where we all introduced ourselves and talked about our studies and time so far in Bengaluru. The Biome members introduced themselves to us, telling us more about their background and how long they’ve been with Biome! They had a very informative discussion about the current water situations happening across India. Unfortunately, us interns were not able to contribute much as we do not have much experience and information on the topic, but it was nice to hear more about what’s happening around us.
After the initial discussion, we all headed to a delicious, organic buffet filled with fresh fruits, dal, and millet dishes! These have become a part of our daily meal routine during our time in India, but the food at this restaurant was spectacular. We have already discussed going back with the rest of our class!
Before we had to leave, we introduced our idea for a social venture. Our team is looking into making a rainwater harvesting web tool and creating a more accessible connection between potential customers and Biome. We received helpful feedback on the idea and hope to hear more about where we can take this!
Overall, we had a very fun and productive first meeting with Biome. Every member was exciting to talk to, and we learned a lot from the group in a short period of time. We hope to see them all again before our time in India is up!
Elena, Ridgely, Quinn & Kiara
Interns at Biome Environmental Trust