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A Foundation Dedicated to Restoring/Protecting Rivers and Streams of the World


World Water Day 2010 Projects

Protecting the Musi, Yangtze, and Yamuna Rivers

Press Releases

About two months after the visit by US team members to advocate River protection and cleanup in India, local team members, students, and activists in Agra, Hyderabad, and Delhi, India, along with Wuhan, China led several large successful watershed cleanup projects to commemorate the annual World Water Day 2010.

Agra, India: Three Ghats on the Yamuna River

Agra Cleanup

Cleanup Results

  • Participants: 500+
  • Trash Collected: TBD
  • Area Cleaned: Yamuna Bank - Hathi, Poiya, and Balkeswar Ghats
Agra, March 22, 2010 - Agra's center of attention may usually be the Taj Mahal, though only until World Water Day 2010 would its ailing River Yamuna receive the care and attention of its community. The St. Peter's College in Agra featured energized and vibrant students who were eager to take action. Their World Water Day cleanup proved to be fruitful, beyond anyone's expectations. Additionally, support from the faculty and students at Agra University made the event a collaboration between key community stakeholders. The event became the greatest cleanup success in Agra's recent history. Over 500 volunteers from the entire community of students, faculty, and youth joined in to save the River Yamuna.

Agra CleanupRiverside cleanup action took place at three ghats in Agra—Poiya Ghat, Balkeshwar Ghat, and Hathi Ghat. Activists, students, and professionals joined hands to pick up trash at the ghats. The event was very well received and certainly struck home an important message for Agra's populace and politicians about the significance of restoring the Yamuna River.

Agra CleanupThe present mayor of Agra, Anjula Singh Mahaur, and former mayor, Baby Rani Maurya, partook in the clean up efforts, along with doctors, journalists, and other professionals. Agra University faculty Professor Sunder Lal, Dr. Ajay Taneja, Dr. Rajesh Dhakrey, and many others showed their support in organizing and participating in the cleanup. Students and science faculty from St. Conrads, St. Andrews, and St. Patrick's Junior College (CJM) were present in full force. Dr. Shivani Chaturvedi and the Wake Up Agra group also joined.

The Air Force wing's NCC cadets organized the Balkeshwar Ghat cleanup. The high volume of trash collected in bags at the three ghats were disposed of by the Agra Municipal Corporation.

In addition to providing a much-anticipated wake-up call for Agra's politicians and community voice, the World Water Day cleanup event inspired many youth and provided a sense of nonconformity with the presence of litter and pollution on the riverbanks. Similar events in the near future are already anticipated.

Agra Cleanup

Hyderabad, India: Musi River Cleanup at Amberpet Bridge

Hyderabad Cleanup

Cleanup Results

  • Participants: 53
  • Trash Collected: TBD
  • Area Cleaned: Musi River at Amberpet Bridge, Hyderabad
Hyderabad, March 20, 2010 - Rivers of the World Foundation (ROW) with the cooperation of the local community leaders, residents and Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (SNIST) performed a debris/ trash cleanup of a small segment on the banks of Musi River near Amberpet Bridge on March 20, 2010, successfully. The Bridge is on an major artery of the city and is 75 meters long. Fifty-three (53) SNIST National Social Service (NSS) volunteers, participated in this beneficial activity. Musi River is the life blood of Hyderabad and other downstream communities. It is heavily polluted and the banks of the river are loaded with debris and trash. SNIST volunteers, community leaders and area Member of State Legislative Assembly (MLA), initiated a piece to a mammoth project of restoring Musi River to its natural & pristine condition before man's intervention.

Of significance of the event, is that Hon. MLA Ahmed Balala has immediately agreed to provide the following amenities, as presented by ROW with consultation of the stakeholders:

  1. Install and operate a dumpster at one corner of the bridge with high volume garbage.
  2. Subsidize costs of a nearby pay toilet from bridge, for free access to people who cannot pay (though the amount is less than a cent), and currently relieving on the banks of the Musi.
  3. Provide support for cleanup twice in a year when garbage collects on the banks after rainy season (September) and festival season (January). Unfortunately, in Hyderabad the weather is quite hot on March 22, to coordinate outdoor activities with world water day and also exam times for majority of students.

What is extraordinary is that Honorable MLA Balala went a step further and said that he will work towards providing two dumpsters one on each side of the bridge and also provide high meshed fence along the bridge so people cannot dump in the river. Hon. Ahmed Balala found time to be at the site12:45 and stayed for half an hour discussing various aspects with constituents, and Ram Koduri (ROW), and his parting words were, "I am so excited that so many people are helping us, and I will do everything that I can to address the above two issues; with meshed fence, the above request item number 3 is moot as  there is no chance to dump in the river". He also came back and distributed certificates to the students.

Hyderabad CleanupCleanup

The thought of this public private partnership for  cleanup came up in a meeting with Director Narasimha Reddy of SNIST when the ROW delegation from USA visited Hyderabad, India on December 28, 2009. But for SNIST's interest and participation, this program is not possible. Community leader Mr. Kanukula Reddy obtained the permits, arranged the truck and and acted as liaison to Hon. MLA Balala in addition to providing food and meeting place in his house for further interactions with the participants.  Ms. Morolia (ROW Hyderabad) planned and scheduled the event for February 20, 2010, but the event had to be delayed due to local agitations, and conditions in state.

The 53 volunteers and NSS organizer Mr. Srinivasa Rao Challa, arrived by SNIST bus and assembled about 11:15 a.m. on that day at the site. Safety training and some pollution facts were presented by Ram Koduri; and the garbage bags (Allice Ferguson), caps, leather and vinyl gloves, caps and masks provided by ROW were distributed. ROW took back gloves, for cleaning and reuse. About eight pairs of long boots were made available if any volunteers wanted, but none were used. Boots will be reused. Caps and masks are given to volunteers for their use in future. The volunteers were distributed into three varying size groups to pick up debris from three corners of the bridge, the fourth corner was relatively clean as this area is being used by washermen/women for manual cleaning of clothes and sun drying.

Before and after cleanup (See Pictures attached/linked), every volunteer took a pledge:

"I will pick up a piece of litter every day."

Hyderabad CleanupVolunteers began work immediately and worked for two hours as planned, except for a short five minute break to hear MLA and his commitment. The temperature on that day was close to 100 degrees F or 38 C. and with malodor, further cleaning was not desirable.  It is estimated that 80 percent of the targeted bank debris is cleared. Additional discussion, interaction, issuance of certificates took place in Mr. Kunukula Reddy's house before lunch. At three p.m. the SNIST bus took off from the site.

The training included key concepts and definitions such as decompose, biodegrade, reduce, reuse and recycle. Some materials biodegrade more slowly than others glass and plastic bottles 400-500 years, aluminum cans 200 300 years, whereas banana peels biodegrade in two months only.

Hyderabad Cleanup

Wuhan, China: Yangtze River

Wuhan Cleanup

Cleanup Results

  • Participants: 276
  • Trash Collected: 1050 kg
  • Area Cleaned: Yangtze-Kiang River Bank (6 km stretch)
Wuhan, March 22, 2010 - Starting with the World Water Day cleanup in Wuhan City, the Rivers of the World Foundation inspired its first environmental cleanup event in China. Along a 6-kilometer riverbank stretch of the mighty Yangtze River, students collected about 1050 kg in a successful trash cleanup.

Wuhan CleanupA total of 276 community members and local university students from Wuhan City joined hands to collect trash on the long riverbank. The use of recycling added to the event's environmental success, as the 420 bags of garbage picked up were divided into recyclable and non-recyclable groups.

In addition to beautifying the Wuhan Hankou Yangtze Riverside Park, the Wuhan City community has demonstrated its river stewardship. The students and organizers are thankful for the inspiration and guidance of the Rivers of the World Foundation members.

 

 

Wuhan Cleanup

Delhi, India: Yamuna River

Cleanup Results

  • Participants: 212
  • Trash Collected: 127 bags
  • Area Cleaned: Yamuna Bank near Mayur Vihar
New Delhi, March 22, 2010 - Girish Chaudhry, Country Director, Rivers of the World Foundation, conducted the Yamuna trash cleanup in a big way this year under the initiative and active support of the Leela Foundation.

This Yamuna Cleaning Drive, conducted on March 21, 2010 was titled "Yamuna Manthan" by the Leela Foundation . The drive, organised a day prior to World Water Day, was successfully held in collaboration with Rivers of the World Foundation and Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Students were taken to the river banks and were properly equipped with gloves and bags provided by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The event successfully brought attention to the issue of community river stewardship.

Report on "Yamuna Manthan" : On the drive day, all the volunteers, around 212 in number, assembled at Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Metro station in east Delhi area. They included students from various Delhi University colleges viz. Kalindi College, Dyal Singh College, Gargi College, Kamla Nehru college and Venkateshwara College, along with some from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and IHM Pusa institute. There were young volunteers from schools also including Adarsh Public School, Delhi Public School and Indraprastha School. Last but not the least, many officials from the corporate world also took out time and volunteered for this important cause.

Delhi Yamuna

At around 1030 hrs, the volunteers, proudly called as "Yamuna Soldiers", led a march from the metro station till the ultimate destination -- Yamuna river. Raising slogans "Gandagi hatao, Yamuna Bachao" (Remove garbage, save Yamuna) and carrying foundations' banners, the energetic volunteers did a 2-km-long walkathon. Since the march was held in presence of the area inhabitants, the latter were also motivated to join them.

Delhi Cleanup More than 50 children from among the locals came forward to contribute in the cause. To encourage the young volunteers , the Foundation had invited the Lions Club fraternity from District 321-A1/ A2 and citizens of Delhi. The District Governor of Lions Club Lion M G Agarwal, who was the Chief Guest at the event, interacted with the gathering and explained them the importance of restoring Yamuna to its original health. A Yamuna prayer was also recited before the inauguration of the drive by the Chief Guest through ribbon-cutting. Meticulous arrangements were made for the volunteers in order to ensure their security and safety. Officials from the Delhi Flood control Department, Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police were deployed to handle any emergency call.

Delhi Cleanup During the cleaning drive, that started at around 1200 hrs and went up till 1530 hrs, a total of 127 trash bags were filled up with garbage and disposed off by Municipality trucks. The trash consisted of plastic, clothes, flowers, steel, rubber, cardboard, jute etc. It may be noted that due to unavoidable reasons, the weight of the total trash could not be weighed and the items were not segregated in this drive. Special care of this will be taken in future. Yamuna Pamphlets, printed in Hindi language keeping in mind the concern of local residents, were distributed to the people present. Along with getting into action to clean the river, the volunteers educated the inhabitants on maintaining the hygiene & sanitation of the area and stop littering in Yamuna and also on the roads. In order to boost the morale of the slum dwellers, the Foundation team pinned Leela Foundation badges on all of them. Refreshment and juice were also served to all the volunteers and inhabitants around the Yamuna river at the end of the Cleanliness Drive.

More Pictures

Agra, India

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Hyderabad, India

Before Cleanup

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During/After Cleanup

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Wuhan, China

Wuhan Cleanup

Wuhan Cleanup

Delhi, India

Dehli Cleanup Dehli Cleanup

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Dehli Cleanup


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.