It was a ‘walk and talk’ led by The Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inspiring Bangaloreans to come forward and solve the water woes the city has been facing. Titled ‘Walk for Water’, the walkathon which saw participation by the denizens was aimed at creating awareness on the rejuvenation program taken up by The Art of Living for the River Kumudvathi.
The awareness walk began from Mahatma Gandhi Statue M.G Road via Queens Circle, Cubbon Park, K.R. Circle and culminated at Freedom Park. Addressing the gathering here, Sri Sri said, “If Kumudavathi river is revived, Bangalore will be saved. Illegal sand mining should be stopped and people should be made aware of this. With our team of experts and scientists in the past two months, springs in eight villages have been revived. I invite the citizens of Bangalore and the country to come forward and work towards saving water.”
Hosted by The Art of Living under the aegis of it's campaign, 'Volunteer for a Better India', the initiative also witnessed participation from eminent people like Doreswamy, renowned freedom fighter; Yellappa Reddy, environmentalist; T. Gopalakrishna, corporator, Gandhinagar; along with farmers of Kumudvathi Basin and numerous associated NGOs.
"The Kumudvathi River Rejuvenation plan is a 3-year program, envisaged under the 'Volunteer for a Better India' program, to revive this endangered waterway that could potentially address 60 per cent of Bangalore's water needs. In the past three months, 78 boulder checks, 5 recharge wells have been constructed and 17 Kalyanis have been cleaned and repaired by volunteers." shared Nagaraj Gangoli, project manager.
The second phase of the project will focus on increasing green cover by planting 2,50,000 saplings of local variety trees in government and private lands covering all 288 villages at approximately 800 to 1,000 saplings per village. Planting of saplings will aid in preventing soil erosion and retaining soil moisture in the river basin.
Volunteers have been continuously dedicating their time every Sunday to volunteer at the catchment area to breathe life into the river.
"After this work started, the gomalas (tanks for cattle), ingugundis (water recharge pit), and kalyanis have been constructed.
Because of the ingugundis water in the kalyanis have increased and it is boosting the eco-system as there is more water for the birds and animals," said a farmer from the Kumudvati basin who was taking part in the walkathon.
The ‘Volunteer for a Better India’ movement is open to all. Those who wish to volunteer can contact 08042133300 or 9916025348 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.