“All the rivers in the country are suffering from coronary artery disease and they need to be treated accordingly. However, currently, the rivers are only being given beauty-enhancing treatments on the lines of beauty parlours or cosmetic dental clinics. We need to address the real issue of river restoration,” said water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh without mincing words.
Dr Singh was speaking in Pune at the inauguration of a two-day Water Conclave called ‘Revival of Rivers and Water’. It was organised by ‘The Satsang Foundation’ in collaboration with ‘Sakal Media Group’ for members of ‘Civil 20’ as India holds the Presidency of the G20.
To mark the inauguration, various dignitaries including the founder of ‘The Satsang Foundation’ and spiritual leader Sri M, Managing Director of Sakal Media Group and Chairman of AP Globale Abhijit Pawar, Vice-Chairman of Mata Amritanandamayi Math Swami Amrutaswarupananda Puri, Chief Coordinator of ‘Civil 20’ Vijay Nambiar and actor Chinmay Udgirkar poured water from a ‘Kalash’ (water pot used in auspicious ceremonies) that contained water collected from 12 major rivers of India.
“In India, culture and spirituality are linked to rivers. There is not a single river in the country that doesn’t have a temple or a Gurudwara. Ancient civilisations grew along the river banks. The Atharvaveda underlines the fact that we can’t stop the rivers. But it is our responsibility to conserve every raindrop,” said Dr Singh.
Sri M said, “It’s a matter of pride that the G20 Conference is being held in India. As a result, the whole world is working together with the principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The world is one single family) and various activities are being implemented through ‘C 20’. On the occasion of the Water Conclave, organisations from different countries that have been working for rivers, have been brought together for a brainstorming session. Organisations and experts working in the field of water resources revival, water management and water conservation will present their views at the conclave.”
“Four per cent of the world’s freshwater sources are in India. Water is extensively used for agriculture, industry and power generation. Solutions to problems like dying rivers, industrial pollution, sand extraction, groundwater extraction and so on should be found using modern technology and people’s will. Various committees working for rivers and activities like ‘River Walk’ should be encouraged to connect the citizens with the rivers.”
– Vijay Nambiar, Chief Coordinator, ‘C 20’
● Water conservation through public participation is essential
● We have revived nearly 13,800 water bodies through public participation. As many as 17 lakh people got employment through it
● Although the water crisis is a global phenomenon, the solution is local
● We have people who extract and pollute more water in less time, but we lack water conservationists.
● The modern education system is making people selfish.
● In our country, 17 states and 365 districts are suffering from water scarcity and drought.
● 30 per cent of our land is flooded and 60 per cent is facing drought
● Kumbh Mela has a special significance in keeping the river flowing
– Dr. Rajendra Singh, Water Conservationist
‘We cannot think of life without water, so if there is no water, there is no life. Let’s understand that if there are no trees, there is no water either. Hence, rejuvenating water resources is important. With increasing urbanisation, the water levels are depleting day by day. Water conservation is the need of the hour.’
– Sri M, Spiritual Guru