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Save Yamuna to Save Delhi’s Ecosystem

In a recent interview, journalist turned activist, Ravi Shankar Tiwari, the convenor of Lok Sansad, shared his thoughts on the state of Indian rivers and the importance of the Yamuna River. The discussion revolved around the Yamuna Sansad initiative, where more than one lakh people involved in the formation of a 22-kilometre-long human chain to rescue the Yamuna River and increase public awareness about its plight. Participants joined this endeavor, emphasizing the urgency of protecting the river and its ecosystem. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

1. What do you think about the state of Indian rivers?
“We have failed to save rivers and other water bodies, despite the fact that they are the lifeline of our nation.” As a result, these water bodies are under danger from pollution, encroachment, and inadequate development practices.

2. Tell us about the Yamuna Sansad initiative. What are your demands?
The Yamuna Sansad aims to implement a water management strategy to protect the Yamuna River. We strongly advocate for the establishment of a sewage treatment plant and encourage Delhi residents to visit the river regularly and participate in cleanup efforts. We seek support for this cause from the Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of various states, cabinet members, MPs, and MLAs.
The participants of the “Yamuna Sansad” initiative wholeheartedly took a pledge to actively contribute towards the preservation and restoration of the Yamuna River. By taking this pledge, they expressed their commitment to work tirelessly towards the protection, cleanliness, and sustainable management of the river, ensuring its well-being for future generations.

3. Can you shed some light on the importance of the Yamuna River?
The Yamuna River is the longest and second-largest tributary of the Ganges River in India. Originating in the Yamunotri Glacier in Uttarakhand, it flows through seven states before joining the Ganges at Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The Yamuna significantly contributes to the fertility of the Indo-Gangetic Plain due to its alluvial deposits. It serves as a primary water source for nearly 57 million people, fulfilling over 70% of Delhi’s water needs. Despite its significance, it is disheartening that the Yamuna is currently one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

4. Which sections of society have shown support for this issue?
The Yamuna Sansad received support from various political personalities and social activists, including KN Govindacharya, Rajkumar Bhatia, Delhi government ministers Gopal Rai and Saurabh Bhardwaj, BJP state president Virendra Sachdeva, Delhi Vice-president of Jal Board Somnath Bharti, Leader of the Opposition Ramveer Singh Bidhuri, President of IIT Alumni Council Ravi Sharma, Coordinator of Jal Jan Jod Abhiyan Sanjay Singh, and President of Yuva Halla Bol Anupam ji. Their presence and support at the “Yamuna Parliament” strengthened our cause.

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