Reviving Rivers, Reviving Life

Also available in: हिन्दी मराठी

In February 2013, a small group of volunteers from the Art of Living took up a project to revive the Kumudavati river on the outskirts of Bangalore, which had been dry for over four decades. I am very pleased to inform that the Lok Adalat of Karnataka High Court has recognized their good work and has instructed all the District Administrations of the state to replicate the project to rejuvenate water bodies.

Deforestation, sand mafia and unplanned development activities have polluted the rivers and wreaked havoc with our bio-diversity. It is time to wake up to protect the environment. The Kumudavati River Rejuvenation Project has yielded noticeable results with very little expenditure. This project will impact 281 villages and enhance the water supply to Bangalore city.

Before cleaning

The small group of volunteers who started the project had to face a lot of scepticism and cynicism both from the government and the local population. But they went ahead and conducted awareness programs for villagers and various levels of government to make them realize its need. As the project progressed, hundreds of volunteers joined in. It was a sight to see urban youth in bright T-shirts digging with shovels side-by-side with the rural youth. It became a pleasant and rare urban-rural connect.

After cleaning

Building check dams

A large number of Nilgiri trees, which consume a lot of groundwater, had grown on the river bed. These trees were uprooted and thousands of saplings like peepal, banyan, neem, jackfruit and pongemia were planted in the surroundings. Boulder checks were constructed to control soil erosion and improve soil moisture retention. These and a variety of other measures taken soon resulted in raised ground water levels and revival of surface water. The river which existed only on maps for the last 40 years came back to life on land. The whole bio-diversity of the area is on the path to recovery.

After cleaning

Similar projects have been taken up for Arkavati, Vedavati and Palar rivers in Karnataka, Naganadi in Tamil Nadu and Gharni, Terna, Benitura and Tavarja rivers and Babhalgaon lake in Maharashtra many of which have seen completion.

It is the tireless effort and undying enthusiasm of thousands of volunteers that has made this possible. I encourage many more volunteers to take up similar projects in other parts of the country and world. This is true service to God and humanity.

More Comments

  1. roopesh vm

    Dear AOL team indeed its a great effort to revive the soul of nature!!

    We, at Kerala are also trying to bring such a magic for the dried up Nila river.
    If there is any guidance if u cld provide upon this , it wld come to us as a real boon!

    Pl let us know if we cld contact anyone in this regard to help us to any small extent!

    Once again my hearty appreciation for the remarkable feat which is the real contribution for generations to come.

    1. Ratish Varma

      You can find Art of Living centres in almost all districts, municipality in Kerala. Please get in touch with one of them.

  2. sudhir

    Due to Ravishankar school bad experience with my daughter, I was not having good feeling about Sri Sri Ravishankar foundation (Of course not towards Sri sri Ravishankarji).But the river rejuvunation work done by S S R is truly great.I feel sorry for the my wrong thinking about S S R.In fact now I want to contribute for this great noble cause.

  3. Satish

    Every indian should donate his one day for this type of plans, in next five years we will be some where, ahead in the world.

  4. Gopi Krishna

    Feeling great as I was one of them, as squirrel helped Rama to build dam. A little contribution towards mother nature is satisfying.

  5. upendra

    wonderful !! great that the water hogging trees were doNe away with, pushkarani cleaNed up and natural Indian trees part was urban rural cooperation..this is truely the best use of spiritual leadership.

  6. Deivasikamani

    An eye opener for India. This is really a positive step to conserve water rather than fighting in courts for water.

    Great that the urban youth got involved. It must have given them a nice feeling in their hearts.


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