A precious thought for River Yamuna and our environment on World Environment Day : By Bipin Sharma

River Yamuna has colossal relevance for humanity as a whole which is the reason why it is referred to as the lifeline for citizens. Since time immemorial, this holy river has been the perennial water source for the people of the country. Just like River Ganges, River Yamuna too has a great religious significance attached to it which is why citizens of our country often refer to it as the Holy River Yamuna

Due to the religious perspective, citizens from different nooks and corners perform various rituals in and around the river at different times of the year. During the holy period of Navratri or the Chatt Puja, one can see a large congregation of devotees on different parts of the river.

Sardonically the rampant pollution poses grave threats to the Holy River in the 21st century owing to which there is an urgent need for exploring innovative and practical ways for mitigating this pollution.
The callous attitude of the citizens coupled with the ineffective action plans of the government at different planning phases has been largely responsible for the rampant pollution in the River Yamuna. The society on the whole too, needs to take the flak for the present day state of the dilapidated River Yamuna as they fail to realize the gravity of the issue especially from the perspective of the ever looming threat of climate change and global warming. Albeit a sizeable manpower is in place to manage the day to day affairs of River Yamuna, there are limitations and shortcomings in this process, just like the case with any other modern day system of the 21st century. The problem with the citizens is that we tend to have a “Take it easy” attitude towards an issue as serious as our water source that can simply jeopardize our lives once and for all.
Unless there is a mass level awareness among the different strata’s of the society, the threat looming large over River Yamuna especially will continue to cause a great deal of insecurity to the humanity.
>People of all age groups irrespective of caste, creed or religion need to be motivated for doing their bit towards saving the Lifeline ‘waterbody’ of our country. Out of the box ideas need to be innovated for ensuring that Yamuna is cleaned from all the filth. Besides, adequate safeguarding measures need to be undertaken to check the further damage to the Holy River. Besides the government machinery, activists, volunteers, and religious heads should play their role in educating the masses about the dire repercussions of polluting the river body in the process of making the customary religious offerings to the River.
Scientific methods have to be engineered in order to ensure an organic recycling of the religious offerings. If the same can be accomplished holistically, it will not only put an embargo on the usual practice of polluting Yamuna with the religious offerings, but will ensure that the same are utilized optimally. It will thus be a win win state for one and all.
As far as safeguarding Yamuna River goes, stern directives are issued at strategic points warning citizens about the severe penalties they will have to pay in case they are found littering recklessly anywhere around the river bed.

Sadly, these directives have virtually no impact in preventing the river pollution as people show scarce regard for the basic norms and directives, and continue to flout the rules unabashedly.

It’s time to get going before it gets out of reach. The time has come for the youths of the city to play a pivotal role in addressing the grave issues of the society and community welfare works. Different government departments have to be inspired for ensuring a smooth flow sans any delay for ensuring swift implementation of important public development works. The sad aspect comes when there is pointless and inexplicable delay at both the political as well as bureaucratic level owing to which there is exceedingly long and infuriating delays in the public welfare works. Undeniably, it is the common man on the street that gets to bear the brunt.

The rising levels of pollution in River Yamuna is a classic instance of the callous attitude of not just the government authorities, but also the common man who has been inept in performing his basic duty towards precious environmental resources. We cannot pass it off by merely by having a casual approach.  A full-fledged peaceful, yet assertive revolution is needed to usher in a drastic transformation of outlook.

The onus clearly rests on the civil society to make the initial move and lodge emphatic protests with concerned authorities over pointless delays. Similarly, a thought also need to be spared for the menace of garbage culture in our city. Resident’s making a beeline for their neighbourhood drains for dumping their household garage is a usual sight that we get to spectacle every morning and late night. Distressing when some members of the civilized segment of the society too are seen brazenly indulging in such uncultured and hazardous acts!

The other contentious issue is that of the unruly traffic and the vehicular pollution that wreaks further havoc. There has literally been no curb on reckless driving and the exasperating honking that causes a great deal of sound pollution.

The fact that the youth brigade of the city has not been motivated for community works is one reason why satisfactory progress has not been achieved on the front of river pollution, road anarchy, and reckless littering.

Educationist Dr DK Batra reckons that the city can easily bring about a radical systemic change provided if they are successfully in sagaciously utilizing the talent and passion of a sizeable population of the well educated youths. This can be achieved by motivating them towards sensitive issues of the society namely safeguarding precious natural resources like rivers and other water bodies from the disastrous effects of pollution, restraining the unruly traffic along with traffic cops, undertaking regular tree plantation drives, taking adequate care of animals especially during adverse climatic conditions etc.  And no better day than June 5- The World Environment Day for motivating the citizens especially the youths for doing their bit for the Rivers and the environment!!

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