Even though most of us think of our access to water as a birth right, how many have spared a thought for the source of it. In an attempt to make Bangaloreans aware of Cauvery, the river and its course, Murali, a cyclist, is organising a cycle expedition to Bhavani, a tributary of Cauvery. Called Path Of Mahanadhi, the two-day trip takes off on October 26.
A cycle trip two years ago triggered the idea. Murali realised then that Cauvery is so much more than just a river. “I went on a cycling trip along the Cauvery BWSSB Water Supply Pipe Line 2 years back. Since Cauvery is like a lifeline for Bangalore, we went on a search for its source. We ended up at Torekadanahalli,” he says.
Murali’s journey did not end there. He wanted to cycle along the entire stretch of the river totalling 700 km. “As I cycled following the flow of the river, I realised Cauvery is more than just a river. It has different people, cultures - tribal, rural, urban - languages, music and dance and of course, politics.”
This is when it hit Murali that the only way to break barriers between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (TN) was to take people from Bangalore to TN to understand that in both states, despite differences, life and people are the same. “Because of this conflict of who has the right to the river, we have forgotten the issues plaguing it. Do we think about the pollution, how construction and mining are ruining it? The government is only bothered who has a right to Cauvery’s waters,” he says.
Murali adds that the river which was earlier worshipped is now become the cause of division. “Only awareness can bring about a change,” he says. Twenty people have already registered for the trip and Murali says 15 more can be accommodated. He says, “We believe that connecting people back to the rivers will usher in a different kind of movement.”
To register visit pathofmahanadhi.net/bhavani/