September 2017

Caring for Indian rivers through a “Rally for Rivers”

22.09.2017 - Posted by Tarika Khanna

India is facing major challenges in looking after its rivers. With a population of 1.25 Billion, more than 15% of the world’s population, it has only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. This puts massive pressure on the river systems, many of which are becoming degraded, especially in urban areas. Many of the smaller rivers have vanished while the perennial rivers are becoming seasonal. Floods and droughts are becoming increasingly frequent.

At Alluvium, we feel strongly about the health of rivers, whether it be in Australia, India or any other country. As part of our work in India, we are currently working with state and national government to support basin planning initiatives. 
We also believe strongly in the importance of public awareness and engagement. An important river health public awareness initiative currently being undertaken in India is the ‘Rally for Rivers’ campaign launched by the Isha Foundation in consultation and collaboration with the Ministry of Environment. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the Indian public about the importance of protecting Indian rivers. 
Sadhguru, an Indian yogi, poet and author, launched the campaign from Coimbatore on September 3, and it will culminate in Delhi on October 2. The campaign will drive 6,560km from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, covering 13 states and 21 major cities. The awareness campaign is receiving great support from communities along the route who are pledging to the cause and attending events.
Along with the campaign, the Isha foundation is calling for comprehensive river rejuvenation plans to reverse the decline and in turn revive our rivers. The Isha Foundation proposes a core solution to stabilize and revitalize our rivers, that is in line with the “fence and reveg” philosophy that Alluvium has been promoting for a decade. This involves creating and maintaining tree cover for a minimum of one kilometre on either side of the entire river length and half a kilometre for tributaries. This riparian vegetation zone provides for stability of the river banks, and decreases contaminant and nutrient runoff into the rivers. 
Our Delhi office and the rest of the Alluvium team support this initiative and the call for a comprehensive river rejuvenation programme in India.