River Activists offer water to dry Yamuna On Mother’s Day

Agra: Uniquely celebrating Mother’s Day, nature lovers and green activists gathered at the Etmauddaula viewpoint park on Sunday evening to worship ‘Yamuna Maiyya’, the lifeline of the Braj Mandal, the Leela Bhoomi of Sri Krishna-Radha. In a symbolic gesture, they offered fresh water to the river in a bid to rejuvenate and replenish it

The activists poured scores of bottled water to conduct the ‘Jal-Abhishek’ of the river. “The river is dry and polluted, so we decided to contribute our share of water and some nutrients to help the dying river survive. The bacterial and aqua life needs to be sustained to keep the river alive. The toxic pollutants have all but decimated all forms of life in the river,” lamented environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.

The activists expressed deep concern over the continued apathy and indifference of the powers that be toward protecting our life-sustaining water bodies. “The country does not have a national river policy nor a central river protection agency. The condition of all rivers in India is pathetic as pollution has killed them,” said Sucharit Dutta and Suresh of the Rivers of the World Foundation.

The River Connect Campaign activists symbolically poured milk, sweets, and water into the ‘dying and sickly river’ to highlight the issue of chronic pollution and lack of fresh water. The gesture was aimed at showing their affinity and bonding with Mother Yamuna and nature, in this historical city. The green activists said "We have been demanding continuous discharge of water from upstream barrages for the survival of the river and its aquatic life. But so far nothing has been done." They said a barrage downstream of the Taj Mahal was the need of the hour, but despite promises by the Yogi Adityanath government, no concrete action had been taken till now.

Nature lover Rajiv Gupta said "It was sad and unfortunate to see the river dying without water. Aqua life had completely perished." Dr Chandra Kant Tripathi said the wanton and callous neglect of water bodies was a sure recipe for disaster. Dr Anand Rai said "Nature was our mother and we were all duty bound to look after and take care of Mother Yamuna," for our survival.

Those who joined the programme Sunday evening included Jyoti Khandelwal, Vishal Jha, Meera Khandelwal, Padmini Iyer, Dr Devashish Bhattacharya, Dr Harendra Gupta, Devendra Gautam, Shahtosh, Ranjan Sharma, Chaturbhuj Tiwari, Deepak Rajput, Rajiv Gupta, Dr CK Tripathi, Nandan Shrotriya, Nidhi Pathak, Raj Kumar Maheshwari, and Neelesh Agarwal.

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