River Conversations

Rivers in our times are facing many threats, most rivers are facing existential threats. This blog is a way of starting some conversation on Rivers and the threats that they face.

Since February 2013 (the blog was launched in June 2012, but till Feb 2013 there were just about six blogs, posted in June-July 2012, none after that) we at SANDRP have taken this blog a little more seriously in communicating conversations around rivers.

This is the 100th blog!

During the past about 9 months, we (SANDRP team as well as invited authors) have tried to write about issues surrounding our rivers. We’ve written about Large Dams (and mini hydels), Hydropower Projects, their impacts, their decreasing efficiency, the innumerable issues related to infrastructure projects affecting rivers, dependent communities and ecosystems and the governance process.  

We’ve talked about Climate Change and its impacts on rivers and communities, topical issues like Maharashtra drought in 2012-13, the Uttarakhand disaster in June 2013, India’s flood forecasting and disaster management, Eco sensitive areas like Himalayas and Western Ghats and threats that relatively pristine rivers of North East India are facing. Most institutions and sections of society remain oblivious, unaffected by the fate of our rivers.

Looking at the crisis that our rivers, dependent communities and freshwater ecosystems are in, the need for increased and consistent engagement with the governance processes around rivers is becoming stronger. Most of the rivers in Himalayas are being dammed multiple times, riverine fisheries and fish diversity is severely affected, dam scams are surfacing from across the country: from Maharashtra to Andhra Pradesh to Karnataka to Arunachal Pradesh.

Looking at this, we sincerely hope that more and more people will get involved with issues surrounding our rivers.

We request you to share stories and issues surrounding your rivers.

CONVERSATIONS WITH RIVER This is equally important, but more difficult. Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha provides one of the rare instances of conversations WITH rivers. So we have reproduced some quotations from that most remarkable novel along with some photos that provide, hopefully, instances of conversations AT rivers. 

1

The Mighty Ganga Photo: Ganga Action Parivar

The Mighty Ganga Photo: with thanks from Ganga Action Parivar

2

A small boy by the Bhama River when water was released into the river after a long dry spell. Photo: SANDRP

A small boy by the Bhama River when water was released into the river after a long dry spell. Photo: SANDRP

3

Boat by the Brahmaputra Photo: SANDRP

Boat by the Brahmaputra Photo: SANDRP

4

Floods in Uttarakhand Photo with thanks from Times of India

Floods in Uttarakhand Photo with thanks from Times of India

5

The lovely Souparnika River in Karnataka Photo: SANDRP

The lovely Souparnika River in Karnataka Photo: SANDRP 

6

Ferryman at Varanasi Photo: with thanks from Gavin Gough gavingough.photoshelter.com

Ferryman at Varanasi Photo: with thanks from Gavin Gough gavingough.photoshelter

7

Child at Ganga Photo with thanks from:gnarlysunset.com

Child at Ganga Photo with thanks from:gnarlysunset.com

The river has something special to tell to all of us… only if we pause and listen…

The question is how many rivers we have with us still, to have such converstaions? How many rivers will the next generation have?

Do tell us about your conversations with rivers. In the meantime we will get back to conversations on rivers.

SANDRP

2 Comments on “River Conversations

  1. The river is witness, the river is acceptance, the river is time, the river is eternity, the river is love, the river is fury…if the river is, we are, simple:)

    Like

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