Friends Of Vrindavana: PRESS RELEASE
A half-day training workshop on rainwater harvesting (RWH) was organized by Friends of Vrindavan (FoV) with the support from the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme and held at Gambhira, Jai Singh Ghera, Vrindavan on 22 May 2009.
The workshop was well attended by Swami Ful Dol Maharaj, Pandit Bihari Lal Bashishtha, Acharya Badrish, Shri Pradyumna Pratap Singh and many other spiritual leaders together with representatives of different Temples, Mutts and Ashrams of Vrindavan.
Mr. Salahuddin Saifi, Assistant Co-ordinator of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) New Delhi, demonstrated via power point presentation pertinent facts relating to the current situation of RHW throughout various regions of India showing how critical it was for Vrindavan to adopt these systems to harness the oncoming rains this season. He highlighted the important fact that it is not that there is a shortage of water in India but the problem lies in how society uses it.
CSE has already offered technical assistance in the implementation of rainwater harvesting at Shri Rangnath Temple, Vrindavan. Information supplied by temple representative, Sri Aditya Raghunath, said that the water level of the wells in the temple periphery had been depleted over the past three years and the water level of the temple kund was also diminishing. Moreover, the temple was facing the problem of water logging in the rainy season. He said that after the implementation of the RWH system, it is felt that the water level of the wells and the tank have increased and the problem of the water logging has been completely solved. This serves as a very good example to others in Vrindavan who are initializing RHW systems at their institutions or temples.
Swami Ritantmananda, representative from the Ram Krishna Mission Sevashram hospital, said that it has expansive hospital roof areas and currently all the rain water is wasted. He said he will immediately implement RWH systems throughout their Mission.
Shri Madhav Gopal Das from the Krishna Balaram Temple (ISKCON) said their temple is already using a RWH system and all the temples and ashrams should immediately start working on it before the coming monsoon rains.
Dr. Arvind Kumar, the Assistant Scientific Officer of the Regional Office of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Mathura said that now a RWH system is mandatory in all newly built colonies. He said that the UPPCB will work with and support FoV to ensure that all the larger establishments should put RWH systems into effect and to help spread the word throughout the community.
Through the workshop those ashrams who have implemented RWH systems shared their knowledge with others. It was finally decided that the delegates will make a visit to those temples who have implemented RWH systems to help understand how to implement the same in their temples or ashrams.