India Rivers Day, 2015

 In Blog, India Rivers Week

At a well attended India Rivers Day 2015 function held at the INTACH auditorium, New Delhi on 28th of November, 2015, Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra declared that he personally takes the responsibility for ensuring that Yamuna will have bathing quality water in three years. He also made it very clear that Delhi does not any more water from external sources like Renuka dam or Sharda Yamuna River link.

The India Rivers Day Function brought together several individuals and organisations who have been working on the issues of river conservation in the country. Following the success of last year’s first ever, India Rivers Week held from 24-27 November 2014, the consortium of NGOs including WWF-India, INTACH, SANDRP, Toxic Link and Peace Institute organized an exhibition on the occasion that showcased the past, present and (desirable) future of the river Yamuna, the exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Kapil Mishra.

In memory of late Sri Ramaswamy R. Iyer, Late Honourable Chairman, Organizing Committee of the India Rivers Week 2014, a lecture on “Science of Rivers” was delivered by Sri Anupam Mishra, Gandhi Peace Foundation. In his speech Mr. Mishra said that “Science of Rivers is difficult to define. There is a lot of money and efforts in the name of cleaning and rejuvenation of rivers but it is important to acknowledge that rivers have the right to flow and live. We need to change our attitude towards rivers. Yamuna as a river is supposed to flow and our society needs to start appreciating the role Rivers play in our lives. ”

The Organizing Committee of the India Rivers Day have continued the giving away of Bhagirath Prayas Samman Awards this year. A 5 member jury headed by Shri Anupam Mishra selected 2015 winners based on the criteria and work of the nominees for their work in working towards protecting and rejuvenating the rivers. The winners this year in the Organisations category included Sambhaav Trust for their work on the Nanduwali River in Rajasthan and Save Mon Region Federation for their work on Nyamjang Chhu river in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh. Emmanuel Theophilus and Sachidanand Bharati were felicitated in the Individuals category for their initiatives on the Mahakali and Gad Ganga Rivers respectively in Uttarakhand. Bhagirath Prayas Samman was constituted in 2014 to honour outstanding, sustained efforts/contributions (prayas/tapasya) of river warriors towards protection and conservation of rivers. The emphasis is on inspirational efforts/ prayas/ initiatives (campaigns, advocacy, legal discourse) and sustained passion to conserve rivers