Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sri Sri launches Yamuna cleaning drive

Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today launched the River Yamuna cleaning drive in the capital from the historic Purana Quila amid blowing of the auspicious conch shells and a dance and music extravaganza.

The major citizen initiative aimed to clean up the polluted river well before the Commonwealth Games, was launched by the spiritual guru in the presence of a galaxy of eminent personalities from all walks of life including renowned flutist Hari Prasad Chaurasia, vocalists
Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra and dancers Uma Sharma, Shovana Narayan and Sonal Mansingh. Stating that we have failed to take care of the Yamuna, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, ''The responsibility of cleaning up Yamuna lies with us - the people she nurtures. This movement is a call to remind us what this river has given to generations before us, and to allow her to nourish generations after us. It is a platform for our individual voices that will become a collective echo and an unstoppable force.'' The drive 'Meri Dilli, Meri Yamuna' is a mammoth collaborative effort which has more than 100 stakeholders coming together to take the initiative to ultimately see a clean Yamuna flowing through the capital. More than 1000 conch shells lead by experts from Kolkata went up in 'Shankh Naad' to herald the start of the drive. A poignant ''Ballet on Wheels on the Yamuna'' by Ability Unlimited was also performed .

Present as guest of honour was the Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. Among those gracing the occasion were Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain, Delhi Minister Kiran Walia and Delhi Jal Board CEO Ramesh Negi. Also present were environmental activist Vandana Shiva, designers Ritu Kumar and Rina Dhaka, who are supporting the drive. Along with a number of dignitaries and stakeholders from every sector of civil society, corporates, education, art and culture, more than 100 NGOs have already extended their support for the initiative. From tomorrow thousands of volunteers will take up the cleaning of the several ghats of the Yamuna, spread all over Delhi, in the first-ever effort not only just to clean the river but also to beautify the various bathing ghats.

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