Yamuna aarti encourages Mathura activists
The Delhi government’s ‘clean Yamuna’ initiative and bringing back the second sacred river’s importance in the lives of devotees by way of ‘Yamuna Aarti’ have made environment activists in Mathura enthusiastic. The activists in the neighbouring town are now planning a march to Delhi to save the river.
“The daily Yamuna ‘aarti’ initiative started by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to bring people back to the river has been widely appreciated in Mathura, Vrindavan and Agra. This will surely help mobilise public support for the cause of the Yamuna, like we have seen in Agra where the Yamuna aarti has been going on since April 1 this year,” said Devashish Bhattacharya of Agra’s River Connect Campaign.
Spiritual leaders and activists have decided to march to the national Capital and urge the Central government to take urgent steps to save the Yamuna, which is in a polluted state. The decision comes after a series of meetings and interactive sessions with stakeholders in this region through which the Yamuna flows.
The activists want the Narendra Modi government to take prompt measures to cleanse the river and ensure its uninterrupted flow round the year.
A similar march to New Delhi was undertaken in November last year. Several social/ environmental activists and religious leaders met Union Ministers and raised their concern over rising pollution in the Yamuna.
“The Centre had promised us to clean the rivers and bring her back to life. Villagers adn animals, living near the river, often suffer from health ailments due to the river’s high pollution level,” said Manoj Mishra, convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.
Ramesh Baba of Barsana said it was high time that the Central government did something concrete and implemented its decisions.
“Besides the river’s association with Lord Krishna and Lord Yamraj, it is lifeline of Western UP. But untreated sewage and industrial waste is being released into the river against the Supreme Court’s order,” he added.
Activists are also angry with BJP MP Hema Malini, who they said had done nothing to rejuvenate the Yamuna despite making promises before the May 2014 general elections.
“Even after so many marches and rallies, the Centre has not responded to our demands and Yamuna continues to remain dry and polluted for most part of the year,” said Braj Bachao Samiti’s Rhais Qureshi.
Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra has launched a series of activities like water sports, boating and Yamuna Aarti. “I am committed to clean the river by 2018, its a self imposed deadline by the government,” he said.