Yamuna Satyagraha: Campaign to Save a River
EVEN as the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village adjacent to the Akshardham Temple is in full swing, members of the Jal Biradari organisation are in no mood to quit and have vowed to continue their agitation.
Led by the waterman of India, Rajendra Singh, the protest has been going on since August 01, 2007. The satyagrahis, as they like to call themselves, are demanding immediate halt on all construction activities on the Yamuna floodplains. They are also urging the Delhi government to shift the Games Village site to elsewhere.
Yamuna Satyagrah Camp
Such is the determination of the satyagrahis that they actually mock at all the construction work going on there. They are sure that their protest will ensure the restoration of the river bed and bring down all such constructions. “Sarkaar fir bhi paise barbaad kar rahi hai,” (after all, the government is just wasting its money), said Rajendra Singh.
Referring to the Akshardham temple, he also stated that the present government would repeat the mistake of the BJP led NDA government, if it lets the Games Village to come up on the Yamuna floodplains. A banner announced boldly, “Yamuna mein to ped lagenge, Khelganv-Metro Depot kahin aur banenge” (Trees will be planted in the Yamuna floodplain, Games Village/metro depots will be built elsewhere).
Rajendra Singh being interviewed by the Swiss Media
The Yamuna Satyagraha has seen support from almost all environmental organisations, students and concerned citizens from all over Delhi. The protest itself includes people from all over India. Noted personalities such as Vandana Shiva, Prof Vikram Soni, Radha Bhatt (Chairperson, Gandhi Peace Foundation), senior journalist, Kuldeep Nayar, ornithologist, Anand Arya, members from Kalpvriksha NGO, Diwan Singh of the Ridge Bachao Aandolan, and Manju Mishra have all extended their support for the movement.
Sensitizing the people of Delhi about R. Yamuna
The Satyagrahis are planning a protest march soon, right from Yamunotri to the protest site, to generate awareness towards protection and rejuvenation of river Yamuna.
The following article was written over two months ago for Merinews.com after a trip to the protest site was made along with the Swiss Media.
The Protest is being followed up…