The theme for India Rivers Day 2017 (IRD 2017), held on 25th November, 2017 at the INTACH Delhi premises, was ‘Rivers in the Urban Context’. Various formats of engagement were deployed for discussion among the participants from across India present for the event. India Rivers Day was organised by a group of organisations that have come together under the name India Rivers Week, these include: INTACH, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, WWF India, Toxics Link, Peace Institute Charitable Trust, People’s Science Institute and SANDRP.
As part of the IRD 2017 celebrations, an exhibition based on the event theme has also been set up. It displays photos related to various issues related to urban rivers. The exhibition was inaugurated during the IRD 2017 event by our eminent Chief Guest Shri Shashi Shekhar, former secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India.
India’s Rivers are in dire crisis due to a variety of reasons, and urban centers which are termed as the engines of “growth”, have played a major role in mindless and unsustainable exploitation of our rivers. The river nourishes and supports us and living ecosystem, but why should it mean death of the river?
The exhibition is divided into various sections, and photos from over 25 cities across India will expose the viewer to the reality of how urban activities are directly impacting the river; ecosystem services provided by the river that are oft neglected; relationship of various communities with the river for daily life, livelihoods and rituals; and the immense natural and cultural treasures that are endangered by our apathy, complicity and a multitude of vested interests. Some of the themes that the exhibition displays include: Pollution, Sand Mining, Encroachments, Dams and Diversions, Role of Religion, Livelihoods dependent on Rivers, Biodiversity, River Based Transportation and Tourism and River Front Development including fish in the rivers, among others.
The exhibition displays stories from across India, submitted by individuals and organisations working relentlessly to amplify and address the concerns of our rivers. India Rivers Day celebrates their work, celebrates rivers, and hopes that this helps sustain the larger movement for sustained existence of our rivers in our cities.
THE EXHIBITION WILL BE OPEN FROM 25th November to 1st December (10 am to 6 pm), 2017 at INTACH Delhi, 71 Lodi Estate, KK Birla Marg (google maps link- https://goo.gl/maps/UkaH9JytdnF2).
It is our hope that all concerned, including those from the governments, academics, media, judiciary and civil society will take this opportunity to visit the exhibition and experience and interact with a topic that has been relegated to the boundaries and begin a process where we try to understand the state of our rivers and reasons for this state. We also hope it helps to re-evaluate our life choices and start to hold accountable systems that have persistently failed to truthfully execute their mandate.
Please share the word about the exhibition, invite others to come visit and help us take this message and exhibition to wider audience.
Write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you would want to also display this exhibition in your city or institution. We’d love for media houses to come experience the exhibit and then write about it.
This is an introductory message about the content of the exhibition. We hope to serialize the photos and stories of rivers in various cities in India here soon.
Siddharth Agarwal, Exhibition Curator (firstname.lastname@example.org)