Rivers have been an integral part of our lives. Most of our ancient civilizations were built on the banks of various rivers. These rivers supported our ancestors with many resources and helped these civilizations flourish for centuries together.
The current scenario
Since the past many years, the situation hasn’t been good. The state of many rivers in the country has been deteriorating at a rapid pace. Presently, Indian rivers are at a dangerous level of depletion. While many of the minor rivers have faded away, major perennial rivers are turning seasonal. As a matter of fact, the Godavari has shrunk by 20%. Other major rivers such as the Krishna and Narmada have depleted by 60%. In fact, according to WWF (The Worldwide fund for nature), Ganga is one among the world’s 10 most endangered rivers.
This is an alarming situation for a country with a population of over 1 billion. 22 out of 32 major Indian cities battle water crisis daily. We are already “water-stressed” by international norms. If the present situation persists, studies say that within the next 15 years, we will have only 50% of the water we need for our basic survival.
An effective solution
Isha Foundation has a massive experience in matters related to environmental sustainability. It has come forward with a ‘Rejuvenation Policy Proposal’ that would help in reviving our rivers.
Our rivers are forest-fed. While wide scale deforestation has led to their depletion, a simple solution could help in rejuvenating them. The proposal is to create a kilometre-wide green cover on riversides.
Scientific studies have shown that these kilometre-wide green belts on either side of the rivers would prove to be extremely beneficial. This would help in normalization of the rainfall and also recharge the groundwater levels due to increased tree root percolation. This would also help in reducing the river temperatures and thereby be providing ideal living conditions for the aquatic life. Apart from all the above, it would also result in the reduction of water pollutants and subsequently, result in river replenishment.
Additionally, a model can be developed that’ll help in enhancing the farmers’ livelihood by doubling their income in five years.
Rally for Rivers
The first step in the successful implementation of this project is to create adequate awareness among various sections of the society and the government. For this reason, Isha Foundation is organizing a ‘Rally for Rivers’ awareness campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change.
The campaign has been conceived by Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation. It will start off from Coimbatore on September 3rd and will cover as many as 13 states. The campaign will traverse a distance of 7000 km across India.
In fact, Sadhguru will drive the entire distance with many leaders and celebrities participating in various steps of the journey. This campaign will involve people from vivid sections and age groups. Students from schools and universities, farmers, NGOs, government officials and many others will play their role in spreading the awareness. Moreover, apart from being informational, the campaign will also have music concerts, documentaries, and performances by renowned artists to make it celebratory and motivational in nature.
Finally, the awareness campaign will come to an end in Delhi where the “Rejuvenation Policy Proposal” will be presented to the government.
How can you be a part of the campaign?
Everyone who consumes water has a responsibility towards this campaign. As an individual, one simple thing you can do to save our rivers is to give a missed call to 80009 80009. Each missed call will count towards a public movement. This would urge the government for a Positive River Policy.
You can also lend your hand towards this campaign by participating in various inspiring events and by spreading the word among the people.
The future of our next generations lies in our hands. It’s imperative that we educate them about the importance of preserving our rivers. It is our pivotal responsibility to play an active part in replenishing these lifelines by rallying for this campaign or through innovative ways of our own.
Additionally, to know more about the rally, you can visit http://RallyForRivers.org
You can contact the organizers at http://[email protected]
Phone- 99481 96099
The video below explains the grave situation and the urgency to address it-
Image credits- Isha Foundation