Save the River Yamuna
At the time when tens of thousands of devotees in the UK are about to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, a holy man from Lord Krishna’s birthplace in India has flown in with a serious message: the sacred river Yamuna where millions of international pilgrims bathe and sip the water is not the river it used to be. Today the Yamuna is the untreated sewage and waste waters of Shahdara drains of Delhi.
Mentioned in India’s national anthem, along with the Ganges as one of the country’s famous and defining rivers, the Yamuna is now the second most polluted river in the world. The holy man, Shri Brajraj Sharan, will be bringing his solemn message at Bhaktivedanta Manor’s Janmasthami festival.
The sacred Yamuna, flows through the world’s largest river basin – the Ganga river basin – with a population of hundreds of millions of people. Many of the cities, towns and villages downstream of Delhi draw their drinking water from the river. They also depend on it for bathing, their economic needs and religious rituals. These towns include Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, Allahabad, an important sacred town where up to 70 million pilgrims assemble every six years for the Kumbha Mela festival, and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
“People who are actually suffering from this don’t really have a voice. It’s the people downstream who suffer, the poorer people, the fishermen, the people who are falling sick,” said Manoj Nodkarni of the Centre for Science and Environment. “We do so much for Aids and cancer and cardiac problems, but the biggest killer in India is still water-borne diseases and these are preventable deaths.”
The quality of ground water, water from wells, is also being seriously affected in the region because this water is replenished from the river. The effect on those living near the river is potentially disastrous.
There has been a considerable amount of sympathy for the cause amongst politicians in India, but still no solution has been reached. Currently, advocates for the river are mobilising support from organisations around the world.
Shri Brajraj Sharan, explained, “The river water can be easily returned and there are solutions available. All we need to save this sacred river is the political will to do so. Any kind of support will be helpful, especially anything that brings this issue to the Indian government’s attention to make sure it gets prioritized. Please visit www.saveyamuna.org website where you can sign a petition and learn how to contact key people in the government”.
If you would like to speak to Shri Brajraj Sharan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published onThursday, August 2nd, 2012