Invocation of collective consciousness and public awareness is essential to save the rivers: Justice A.K Goel

“To keep a nation and its people healthy we have to keep our rivers healthy. We have laws, orders, rules, and regulations which ensure the protection and conservation of rivers of the nation but we lack in its proper implementation which can be achieved through the collective consciousness about the importance of rivers in human life” NGT Chairperson Hon’ble Justice A.K. Goel expressed the thought in the webinar organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi This webinar also chaired by him.

Emphasizing on the significance of rivers in for all forms of life, especially human life and to pay sincere homage to our lifeline rivers, the IGNCA had organized this webinar titled “Riverine Culture: Associating the Dissociated Communities to the River” on the occasion of World Environment Day, i.e. 5th June 2020. Several national and international scholars and environmentalists attended this webinar with great zeal and interest.

Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA asserted in his address, “A river is not a mere physical entity or a natural resource but we have an emotional connection with our rivers and worship them as Goddesses.” He further emphasized on making sincere attempts to revive this connection with the river and offer genuine gratitude to them. He opined that the Panch-shaktiyan (five sources of knowledge and potentials) i.e. Vidhi (law), Dharma (religion) Shaurya (valour), Sewa (service), and Jnyana (knowledge) must work in collaboration to protect the rivers.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati Ji, President, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, shared his views in the webinar and appealed to the nation to protect the rivers of the nation and keep them clean. He said, “River transverses without discrimination, therefore everyone should take a vow to ensure its continuity and cleanliness.” He also emphasized on green activities to protect nature and requested the NGT to ensure the implementation of laws and orders formulated to protect nature.

Retd. Col. Sh. Manoj Keshwar, Founder of the Atulya Ganga foundation, raised the concern over the developmental activities and rapid industrialization that have brought the rivers on a backslide. He emphasized making the young minds aware regarding the protection of rivers and nature and to ensure the continuous flow of the rivers as givers of life in the future.

Sh. Gopal Arya, Thinker and environmentalist mentioned the importance of World Environment Day and said that the protection and conservation of rivers cannot be achieved without public awareness and public participation and this should get converted in a major public movement for the welfare of the environment at the later stage.

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is a premier research center under the Ministry of Culture, GoI, which is actively engaged in research, documentation, publication and

dissemination of knowledge in the field of arts and culture. In a sincere attempt to express a humble homage to the rivers which provide us with life and nourishment, the centre has initiated a major project on Riverine Culture, under its Janapada Sampada Division, focusing on the civilization and the culture around a river, which worships the river as a mother and acknowledges her contributions through prayers, sacrifices, fairs, and festivals, thus establishing a deep emotional connection with the river. So far, under this, the project Glory of Rivers has covered six important rivers of the country viz,. Kaveri, Krishna, Gomati, Yamuna, Ganga, and Vyas.

The webinar was conducted/moderated by Prof. Molly Kaushal, HoD of the Janapada Sampada Division of the IGNCA. It concluded with the vote of thanks given by Sh, Abhay Mishra from Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA.

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