The Himalaya have always been our pride and our protectors. The Himalaya, known as the water tower of Asia are home to many of the world’s glaciers. The resulting meltwater and the rivers that flow from these mountains and their forests provide water supply to millions of people.
River have shaped civilization and culture across the world. We have considered the Himalaya as a symbol of spirituality, security and economic and well-being. Standing tall and majestic, the Himalayan ecosystem faces threats due to human interventions.
The profit-oriented model of development has resulted in deforestation causing several forest rivers to dry up. Glaciers are melting at a rapid pace. Landslides and erosion have increased. Rocks and debris are now falling into rivers, causing the riverbeds to rise, and thus reducing their capacity and flow. As a result, villages and towns have become insecure, and floods have increased. Our towns, agriculture and industry have polluted the water and our rivers have now become sick. Distress migration has increased. People are being displaced.
The effects of climate change are increasing across the Himalayan River basins, be it floods, landslides, cloudbursts, less rainfall or high temperatures.
Rivers play a key role in sustaining life on the planet. With the rivers drying up and getting heavily polluted, the Indian Himalayan River Basins Council (IHRBC) is aiming to draw the attention of and connect all sections of society – raj, samaj aur sant (government, civil society and religious/spiritual leaders), youth – to Himalayan rivers and the rivers that lie in the Himalayan River Basin to the need of river rejuvenation. For this, the Council is linking hearts, minds and action of people.
Indira Khurana, Chair of the IHRBC has begun working on this with total dedication and devotion. If she and the Council get our support and help, we will be successful in creating an enabling environment where rivers can be rejuvenated and a society that can live in peace and security.
Come, let us all come and work together on this pure and sacred work.