A Roundtable for Keeping the Yamuna Blue at Yamuna Nagar
You spend much of your time either defending the reasons for the job,
explaining and justifying to skeptics--why and how the river can be saved,
and/or fighting to defend environmental principles in a world where many people
are too busy to do much more than just survive--let alone notice the river in
their midst. Blue Yamuna team members stand for and against causes where we are
often outnumbered and barely have enough hours in the day to accomplish all the
things that must be done. Even so, it is the best job in the world! The ability
to help people, play a key role in efforts to save a watershed, and the chance
to help build a statewide community of friends of the river, collaborators, and
the participate in an extended family of people who think this is important and
necessary work. Lots of people have a distinct and personal connection to the Yamuna
river, and there are more than a million personal
stories to be found on this river. All of them are true and all are important!
That is why protecting the
Many people take our water supply for granted. It simply does not occur to many of us that waterways are marvelous examples of a simple and complex chain of hydrologic factors in which what goes around truly comes around. Rain/snow, osmosis, stormwater, flooding, wetlands and the other manifestations of water are vital links in that chain.
Water is also universal constant. Civilizations rise and fall for the lack
of it. Wars have been fought over it. Water, like “gold” is an objective
standard and a central value that makes life itself plus our way of life
altogether possible. Yet, where water is impaired—life does not thrive. Where
the ecosystem is compromised, our lives fall apart. A glaring example is
Those of us living in
Clean water, fish, aquatic lives, water you can swim in, water you drink...these things are not assured. What is assured is that the demand for water resources is increasing even while the supply is dwindling. It stands to reason that we need to conserve and use wisely what we have. It is pointless and futile for only some of us to use water wisely, thereby raising the available supply to the remainder of us who will squander it, waste it and pollute it. Protecting our water resources is truly an all or nothing proposition.
Yet one of the problems with environmental issues in general is that it is often hard to get People interested until the problems reach crisis proportions. We won’t worry about the fishes until they are nearly gone. As Ben Franklin said, “when the well is dry, then you’ll know the value of water”.
Our choice is simple. It is a practical choice and a moral choice. We can’t make any more water. We need to better manage what we already have. There is no mystery about the cause of the decline in our watersheds. As Girish Chaudhry stressed the point that we should be set about doing the work we know needs to be done and together with the locales we must be unflinching in our choices.
Focusing on the above theme a group of concerned citizens from the Yamuna Nagar met on June 15th at the Puja Hotel near fountain Chowk in Yamuna Nagar. Most of the participants were from the local Lion Club. Amongst many concerned locales, the following participants came forward and devoted almost all day to “stand and wait” and participate in the discussion.
1. Lion Dr. Vinod Kaushik
2. Lion Vinay Kanwar
3. Lion Rajeev Mehta
4. Mr. Baldev Seth
5. Lion Ashok Mehta (Naraingarh)
6. Lion Girish Chaudry (Karnal/New
Lion Dr. Vinod
Lion Dr. Vinod Kaushik
10. Jatin (Mickey) Chaudhry (Karnal)
11. Rajan Chaudhry (
The discussion was very live at this
meeting. Subijoy Dutta presented the
locales with a proposal for a
After about an hour of discussion on various
possibilities Mr. Ashok Mehta took the lead and
suggested that they will study the proposal and provide their feedback to Mr.
Dutta by the end of June so that Mr. Dutta can call and discuss with them while
in India, to come up with the final plan and implementation plan.
Next morning, on June 16, Sumit Dutta and Subijoy Dutta visited the Yamuna river site below the Yamuna bridge. Mr. Dutta talked to some local people operating a tea shop there. One of the locale, Mr. Mahichand Sharma came forward and said he is willing to leave all his work and work full time as the riverkeeper with a compensation of Rs2,500/month. Mr. Dutta was impressed with the enthusiasm of the locales there. A few pictures of the locales who came forward for the cause are shown below.