Voicing concern for Yamuna

Voicing concern for Yamuna

Around 2,000 youngsters from all over the country got together for an international social media campaign to mark the ‘International Day of Action’, that was observed recently.

Under the campaign -- ‘Wake Up Call’ -- youngsters from around 80 countries called on their political and business leaders to “wake up” and take action on issues relevant in their respective countries. Their demands were specific, straightforward, achievable and related to jobs, a cleaner environment, political accountability, better healthcare, education and equality for all.

The Indian campaign dealt with the issue of cleanliness of river Yamuna. About 200 youngsters from India signed an online petition asking the Ministry of Water Resources to take significant and effective steps to clean, rehabilitate and preserve Yamuna--a lifeline to 57 million people of the country.

The campaign was organised under the banner of Green the Gene, an organisation working for environment related issues. Before the campaign kick-started, a series of events like rock concerts and workshops were organised in universities and schools to mobilise the youth of the country. These events were attended by almost 2,000 students and youngsters from all over the country.

Shivendra Mishra, a participant and co-founder of Green the Gene says, “Gone are the days when we could sit and debate on issues, now is the time to act. The river is almost dead and it is high time that stern actions are taken to restore it.” The petition demanded the enforcement of stricter guidelines to rehabilitate and preserve the river.

Madhav Datt, a school student and president of the organisation says, “Global political and corporate leaders need to listen to our demands and work to address the problems we raise so that this campaign can deliver real action for real change.

The issue is vital because millions of people depend on the river directly or indirectly but despite so many programmes, the river is still as polluted as it was 15 years ago.”

He adds, “Delhi’s Yamuna river has been described as ‘a putrid ribbon of black sludge’ where faecal bacteria has reached above safety limits despite a 15-year-old programme to address the problem. We call upon the Ministry of Water Resources to clean, rehabilitate and preserve the sacred, vital yet highly polluted river.”

You can join the campaign and sign the petition by visiting the internet page: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/wucindia.