New Delhi: A mammoth Yamuna clean-up campaign was launched today by the Art of Living Foundation. The campaign titled, Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna, saw His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Spiritual & Humanitarian leader and Founder, Art of Living, along with hundreds of volunteers and supporting organisations cleaning the ITO ghat this morning.
“A staggering 3.6 billion tonnes of untreated sewerage flows daily into the Yamuna and the river supplies 60% of the water needed by the Delhi region. The situation is dire. We need to act now. And one single organisation or entity cannot do things all by itself. Only collectively can this clean-up be possible”, said His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the inauguration of the campaign.
“We have already had a soft launch of the campaign. For the last 15 days, Art of Living volunteer teams have been cleaning the ITO ghat, with Ghat volunteer teams and boat volunteer teams. In addition to the actual clean-up, we are also educating the public about the need to keep Yamuna and its eco-system clean. We are also asking our Government to ensure that the sewage plants in the area are fully functional”, said Narendra Mohan, East Delhi Campaign coordinator.
The Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna campaign was launched on Tuesday, March 16 at Purana Qila. Present at the launch were numerous dignitaries and stakeholders from every section of society- corporates, education, art, culture, RWA, market associations, traders etc. Present on the dais on the campaign launch were Smt Kiran Walia, Honourable Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Development & Languages- Delhi Govt.; Sh. Kanwar Sain, Mayor of Delhi; Shri Ramesh Negi, CEO, Delhi Jal Board, SRTC, National Cadet Corps (NCC), MCD, SRTC, Pandit Rajan & Sajan Mishra (Vocal- Hindustani Music), Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Classical Hindustani Flutist), Uma Sharma, Shovana Narayan, Sonal Mansingh, (Odissi Dancer), Leela Samson, Vandana Shiva, among others. Over 100 Ngo’s, corporates and organisations have already extended their support for the initiative including Delhi Jal Board, Sulabh, UNESCO, WWF, Philips, SBI, Bajaj Allianz, LG, MAX Healthcare, ICRTC, IGL, Powergrid, Videocon, JICA, Force, Chintan, Development Alternatives, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Khushii, Casp-Plan, Vatavaran, Delhi Greens, Morphogenesis, Prajanya Eva Foundation, TERI among others.
The campaign will see a week-long cleanliness drive of the 8 Yamuna ghats and citizen mobilisation that will culminate in a clean-up drive of Delhi before the Commonwealth Games.Details of the Ghat Cleaning Drive is appended. Volunteers wanting to join the campaign can contact 011- 43232201/19.
The Yamuna Ghats Cleaning Drive:
Qudasia Ghat near ISBT
Okhla Bird Sanctuary (By permissions only)
Okhla Dhobhi Ghat