By Madayanti Dasi
ISKCON has joined the worldwide campaign “Save Yamuna: A message from all over the world”, which, by the cooperative effort of devotees and volunteers, is growing day by day.
The upcoming Janmashtami festival (Krishna’s appearance day), when masses of people flock to every ISKCON center all over the world could be a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness to the problem of the polluted Yamuna river, and to collect thousands of signatures. The petition then will be presented to the Prime Minister of India, as well as other decision makers.
The organizers are asking every ISKCON center to take part by downloading the petition and get it signed by as many people as possible: https://www.box.com/s/5ed1f72f952319896dd5
Here is the text of the petition:
“Dear Honorable Prime Minister,
An Appeal to Bring Back River Yamuna to its People, Wildlife and Ecology
As part of the timeless Indian Civilization, the river Yamuna, other than being a traditional water resource, is also a cultural icon and is worshipped as a goddess in Indian Culture. A little inquiry into ancient Indian scriptures, rituals, art forms, traditional vocation, festivities or even the National Anthem shall vividly bring forward the esteem and glory that this Grand River holds, even in present times. Many a temple towns are situated along its banks that have their characters based on the River and its religious tourism, the most famous being Vrindavan, Mathura, Agra and Gokul.
Today, any common man knows and even several Indian government Bodies acknowledge that the river is almost dead with fatal pollution loads and lack of Natural Fresh Waters to dilute it. Indian Government’s own reports claim that there is not a drop of natural river water on the River bed in Delhi and beyond.
No amount of treatment can bring the qualities of Fresh natural water in a river.
Even the much hyped & expensive interceptor sewerage project of Delhi will not restore the river to class C—bathing quality (Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)-3mg/l) waters as ordered by the Supreme Court of India.
The river needs dilution capacity – minimum ecological flow at all costs. Any river does.
Flows are needed for maintaining the river regime, making it possible for the river to purify itself, sustaining aquatic life and vegetation, recharging groundwater, support livelihoods, facilitating navigation, preserving estuarine conditions, and enabling the river to play its role in the cultural and spiritual lives of people.
Millions of religious/spiritual tourist visits 3 important temple towns on River Yamuna every year (Government figures – 11.3 millions/2010). It is a shame that they are duped into bathing and drinking the filthiest of waters as none of them realize that it is only poisonous sewage. Their spiritual emotions and faith are being hoodwinked.
We, the undersigned, call on you to allow adequate natural fresh waters of Yamnotri to flow through the entire stretch on Yamuna River. This shall dilute its uncontrolled pollution and bring back the original river back to its people, wildlife and ecology.”
For more information please visit on www.SaveYamuna.org