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   A Foundation Dedicated to Turn the Yamuna Water Blue

A Roundtable for Keeping the Yamuna Blue at Yamuna Nagar

June 15, 2007

You spend much of your time either defending the reasons for the job, explaining and justifying to skeptics--why and how the river can be saved, and/or fighting to defend environmental principles in a world where many people are too busy to do much more than just survive--let alone notice the river in their midst. Blue Yamuna team members stand for and against causes where we are often outnumbered and barely have enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things that must be done. Even so, it is the best job in the world! The ability to help people, play a key role in efforts to save a watershed, and the chance to help build a statewide community of friends of the river, collaborators, and the participate in an extended family of people who think this is important and necessary work. Lots of people have a distinct and personal connection to the Yamuna river, and there are more than a million personal stories to be found on this river. All of them are true and all are important! That is why protecting the Yamuna River is a job and a mission that could consume several lifetimes and still continue to be awe-inspiring and spiritually uplifting.

Many people take our water supply for granted. It simply does not occur to many of us that waterways are marvelous examples of a simple and complex chain of hydrologic factors in which what goes around truly comes around. Rain/snow, osmosis, stormwater, flooding, wetlands and the other manifestations of water are vital links in that chain.

Water is also universal constant. Civilizations rise and fall for the lack of it. Wars have been fought over it. Water, like "gold" is an objective standard and a central value that makes life itself plus our way of life altogether possible. Yet, where water is impaired, life does not thrive. Where the ecosystem is compromised, our lives fall apart. A glaring example is New Delhi with a literally dead Yamuna with a dissolved oxygen level of zero. The number of cancer cases, chronic dysentery, and dengu fever is one of the highest in the country. Does it tell us something? Yes, the message is, "A polluted river destroys life and civilization, A clean river makes it flourish."

Those of us living in Delhi area by the Yamuna River , find it unthinkable that clean water could one day be something found only in history books. Especially those who live close to the Yamuna find it unthinkable that clean water is increasingly scarce and irreplaceable.

Clean water, fish, aquatic lives, water you can swim in, water you drink...these things are not assured. What is assured is that the demand for water resources is increasing even while the supply is dwindling. It stands to reason that we need to conserve and use wisely what we have. It is pointless and futile for only some of us to use water wisely, thereby raising the available supply to the remainder of us who will squander it, waste it and pollute it. Protecting our water resources is truly an all or nothing proposition.

Yet one of the problems with environmental issues in general is that it is often hard to get People interested until the problems reach crisis proportions. We won't worry about the fishes until they are nearly gone. As Ben Franklin said, "when the well is dry, then you'll know the value of water."

Yamuna River at Yamuna Nagar is at a crossroads and so are we. A crossroads where scientists, legislators and the business community wonder about the river and her tributaries. But it won't be much longer before we pass the point of no return and speak in past tense.

Our choice is simple. It is a practical choice and a moral choice. We can't make any more water. We need to better manage what we already have. There is no mystery about the cause of the decline in our watersheds. As Girish Chaudhry stressed the point that we should be set about doing the work we know needs to be done and together with the locales we must be unflinching in our choices.

Focusing on the above theme a group of concerned citizens from the Yamuna Nagar

met on June 15th at the Puja Hotel near fountain Chowk in Yamuna Nagar. Most of the participants were from the local Lion Club. Amongst many concerned locales, the following participants came forward and devoted almost all day to "stand and wait" and participate in the discussion.
  1. Lion Dr. Vinod Kaushik
  2. Lion Vinay Kanwar
  3. Lion Rajeev Mehta
  4. Mr. Baldev Seth
  5. Lion Ashok Mehta (Naraingarh)
  6. Lion Girish Chaudry (Karnal/New Delhi)
  7. Swami Sachchidananda Bharati (Kerala, India)
  8. Sumit Dutta (Maryland, USA)
  9. Subijoy Dutta (Maryland, USA)
  10. Jatin (Mickey) Chaudry (Karnal)
  11. Rajan Chaudry (New Delhi)

Yamuna Nagar Lions Picture 1

Yamuna Nagar Lions Picture 2

Yamuna Nagar Lions Picture 3

The discussion was very live at this meeting. Subijoy Dutta presented the locales with a proposal for a Yamuna Center in Yamuna Nagar. To plant the seed for the center Mr. Dutta also presented a framed picture carrying the following awareness message for protecting the River Yamuna. Yamuna foundation for blue water in Maryland partners with the Patuxent riverkeeper, Mr. Fred Tutman, who provided these awareness pictures.

After about an hour of discussion on various possibilities Mr. Ashok Mehta took the lead and suggested that they will study the proposal and provide their feedback to Mr. Dutta by the end of June so that Mr. Dutta can call and discuss with them while in India, to come up with the final plan and implementation plan.

Next morning, on June 16, Sumit Dutta and Subijoy Dutta visited the Yamuna river site below the Yamuna bridge. Mr. Dutta talked to some local people operating a tea shop there. One of the locale, Mr. Mahichand Sharma came forward and said he is willing to leave all his work and work full time as the riverkeeper with a compensation of Rs2,500/month. Mr. Dutta was impressed with the enthusiasm of the locales there. A few pictures of the locales who came forward for the cause are shown below.

Yamuna Nagar Locals Yamuna Nagar Locals 2Yamuna Nagar Locals 3

Note: Rivers of the World (ROW) Foundation is a Tax-Exempt(501(c)3)Organization. All contributions to the ROW Foundation (Fed. Tax ID 26-062-3120 )qualify to be deductible from U.S. income taxes. All Rivers of the world foundation team members are participating in the Rivers/Stream restoration and protection activities on their personal time and contributing their personal funds. Not a single volunteer of the Foundation is receiving any compensation, rather they are paying towards the cause. They are conducting the activities in compliance with applicable regulations (US 18 U.S.C. 207 , 5 CFR 2635, and others; India - IPC for Ethics) in their respective countries. They are dedicated to Restore/Protect Rivers/Steams of the World and provide clean water for the poor and needy.