World Rivers Day: Are we treating our Rivers in the right manner?

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“Rivers are the arteries of our planet, they are lifelines in the truest sense.” – Mark Angelo

A river is not just a scenic water body amid the lands being our primary source of water. It plays an extremely significant role in the lives of living beings and its importance cannot be ignored. It is not just to nurture the crops and to take up the disposal for the waste materials or even to add on to the nutrients in our drinking water. Rivers hold a vital part of the natural resources and form a backbone of the agriculture.

Origin of World Rivers Day:

Every year, the last Sunday of the month of September will be celebrated as World Rivers Day. The United Nations instituted ‘Water for Life’ decade in 2005. The main objective of marking a day in the year for the rivers in the world is to build public awareness and raise an initiative towards conservation of the rivers. It is a day to celebrate the water bodies in the world and collectively taking steps for their preservation.

It was Mark Angelo, the world renowned river advocate, who proposed to celebrate World Rivers Day, which was initiated from 2005 with dozens of countries commemorating it. In the present scenario, over 7 million people widespread from 70 countries celebrate the day that marks the significance of all the rivers in the world.

The Indian scenario of rivers and the deteriorating quality of rivers…

The major rivers in India are Ganga, Brahmaputra, Satluj, Indus, Ravi, Beas, Jhelum, Yamuna, Chambal, Ghagra, Kosi, Betwa, Son, Narmada, Tapti (Tapi), Mahanadi, Luni, Ghaggar, Sabarmati, Krishna, Godavari, Kaveri and Tunghabadra.

The rivers in India are being subjected to severe pollution and the water quality is shifting from ‘slight’ to ‘clean’ or from ‘clean’ to ‘heavy’ depending on the location, utilization and management. There have been various projects and action plans to clean up the Ganga, Yamuna, Tapi and Kaveri which have taken up the limelight, yet, none of the plans have been implemented and completed with upto the mark results. The National River Conservation Directorate (NCRD) has enforced River Action Plans in 157 cities along 30 rivers for their restoration and revival. 

How to make our small contribution towards the rivers in the world?

Taking small steps is the key to evolve and bring a larger change in the world. We can celebrate World Rivers Day by taking the first step of participating in small drives such as beach clean-ups or litter cleaning. Slowly, take gradual steps towards preserving of local rivers by showing active participation in the community.

Take up a cause associated to wildlife and rivers and support it. We can also conduct virtual meets to discuss the present scenario and further work on the progress to clean and preserve rivers.

This World Rivers Day, let’s take a pledge to not take rivers for granted and treat them in a dignified and better way. So, go sailing, boating, parasailing, but remember to not litter..!

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