A thousand hands to save Yamuna in Taj city

Agra: As the world marks the World Water Day Monday to raise awareness about this basic natural resource essential for life, volunteers here have cleaned up the banks of the Yamuna river.

The Yamuna river clean-up was organised by the Rivers of the World (ROW) Foundation in the Taj city. Hundreds of school children, professionals, activists and senior citizens joined the campaign to clean up the river banks and expressed their resolve to restore the glory and eminence of the Yamuna.

Former mayor of the city Baby Rani Maurya said such clean-up exercises must become a regular feature so that people are sensitised to the ecological problems.

Anjula Singh, the mayor of Agra, announced that garbage containers would be placed at the banks so that people, after emptying polythene bags of puja samigri (prayer materials), would not litter around but dump the carry bags in the containers. “The Agra Municipal Corporation was planning to build several dump yards in the city along the river bank,” she added.

National spokesperson for the Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Society of India, Jaideep Malhotra, said: “Children should be involved in such activities so that they learn the importance of proper garbage disposal.”

Homeopath R.S. Pareek addressed students of the Convent of Jesus and Mary and stressed the need for saving the Yamuna river which was a heritage and historical asset. “We have played havoc with the city’s life line. This cannot be allowed any longer,” he said.

Registrar of the Central Hindi Institute C.K. Tripathi said after the clean-up: “This was the biggest programme in which hundreds of concerned people participated to save the Yamuna.” He said the level of anger and disgust witnessed would lead to concrete action at the government level to save the river.

University professors Sunder Lal, Rajesh Dhakrey and Ajay Taneja said it was high time the so-called elite and the ivory tower intellectuals got involved in river cleaning and saved our water bodies from further degradation.

More than a dozen voluntary organisations and schools were involved in Monday’s programme to pick up river trash.

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