Dear River Friends,
You may recall many of us celebrated India’s Rivers at the first ever India Rivers Week (IRW) held at the WWF-India Secretariat New Delhi from 24-27, Nov 2014.
IRW 2014 was organized by an organising committee (OC) chaired by Shri Ramaswamy R Iyer and included PEACE Institute Charitable Trust, WWF – India, INTACH, Toxics Link and SANDRP, besides support from International Rivers, People’s Science Institute & Arghyam Trust. One of the key outputs of the event was “Delhi Declaration – Let Our Rivers Live”.
The idea of IRW was to continue this activity in some form on regular basis to achieve better future for our rivers. With that objective, the Organizing Committee met and decided to celebrate Nov 28, 2015 as India Rivers Day (IRD). We would like all River Friends in India to celebrate this day in their respective areas in whatever imaginative way they may like to do it to push the idea of conservation and rejuvenation of our Rivers.
Unfortunately on Sept 9, 2015 we lost our founding chairperson, Shri Ramaswamy R Iyer, who had made the IRW 2014 possible with his leadership and guidance. The OC has accordingly now planned Ramaswamy R Iyer Memorial Lecture as part of the IRD event this year. The said lecture on “Science of Rivers” will be delivered (in Hindi) by Shri Anupam Mishra, who is well known for his advocacy on prudent use of our water resources through numerous ways, including his most famous books: Aaj Bhi Khare hai Talaab and Rajasthan ki Rajat Bunde.
Kindly recall that one of the important outcomes of the IRW 2014 was conferring of the Bhagirath Prayas Samman, on two individuals and one organisation. We have decided to continue this and have constituted a jury for the same.
Shri Shashi Shekhar, Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has agreed to chair the IRD 2015 function and to give away the Bhagirath Prayas Samman awards. The function this year is planned to be held at INTACH (71, Lodi Estate, New Delhi) and you all are invited. Do let us know if you are coming.
We have also planned a photo cum poster exhibition focused on the past, present and future of Yamuna River and Shri Kapil Mishra, Delhi’s Water Minister has consented to inaugurate it and to also address and interact with school children on the subject.
We hope you all will also plan some activity or event to celebrate Nov 28, 2015 as India Rivers Day with focus on rivers of your area. This could be a meeting, exhibition, a walk or march along a river, a report, a press statement, blog or article focusing on river/s of your area. Do please write to us about your plans and activities.
Please highlight the Delhi Declaration in your work in this regard, if you have found it to be useful. You could also plan to translate and disseminate the highlights of the Delhi Declaration. Or bring out a report on the current state of your river/s. We will look forward to knowing about your activities, plans and reports!
Suggestions are welcome.
On behalf of Organisation Committee of IRD 2015:
Manu Bhatnagar (INTACH)
Suresh Babu (WWF India)
Ravi Agarwal (Toxics Link)
Jayesh Bhatia (PEACE Institute Charitable Trust)
Himanshu Thakkar (SANDRP)
Sudha Mohan & Manoj Misra, IRD 2015 Convener (firstname.lastname@example.org)
 https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/celebrating-the-story-of-koel-karo-resistance-kkjs-gets-bhigirath-prayas-samman-at-first-india-rivers-week/, https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/dr-latha-anantha-cpss-and-river-research-centre-for-the-rivers-to-flow/
 IRD will not be able to provide any travel expenses or provide any local hospitality, as we are organizing this event on nominal budget.