In a bid to raise awareness about the importance of having "clean and sewage-free" rivers, Pune River Revival, a coalition of over 60 organisations and individuals, is organising a three-day campaign from January 26 to January 28.
The coalition, committed to the ecological well-being of the city's rivers, has named the campaign "Rights of Rivers," with a primary focus on seven rivers in the Bhima basin, namely Mula, Mutha, Ramnadi, Pavana, Indrayani, Bhama, and Bhima.
Santosh Lalwani, a key organising member of the event, stated, “Internationally acclaimed river expert Parineeta Dandekar will inaugurate the event, while Rajendra Singh, known as the ‘Waterman of India,’ will be present as the chief guest during the concluding ceremony on January 28. RJ Sangram will be the guest of honour for the three-day environmental event.”
Explaining the aim of the event, Lalwani said, “It has been organised to spread awareness among the public and governmental bodies and help them understand the preservation of natural, free-flowing clean rivers that remain untouched by sewage and pollution.”
During the campaign, “We also plan to collect water samples from various locations along the seven rivers as we also need to educate youth about climate change and ecological degradation. For this event, we have invited colleges and schools too so that the message of river cleanliness reaches future generations,” he said.
The three-day campaign will include various activities, including commemorating 700 days of chain fasting for river rights through a 24-hour mass fasting initiative at specific locations along the rivers. Some participants will be fasting partially in solidarity with the chain fasting movement, Lalwani shared.
Additionally, the event will feature river-side cleanups, selfies, vlogs, street plays, and other artistic displays. There will be a contest, “Selfie with the river," as part of the environmental campaign aimed at inspiring the youth, he concluded.