This Environment Day, on Thursday, a group of environmental activists in Delhi will start on a unique journey. Riding on motorbikes, a team of around 50 green crusaders for the Yamuna will ride along the river all the way to Agra and back. They say it will help them to understand the river they are fighting for. They have named the journey “Qutub se Taj tak”.
Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, the environmental forum that has been contesting developments on Yamuna’s riverbank in Delhi, is spearheading the journey with a group of young professionals called Youth for Justice.
“It is a ten-day journey, back and forth, along the river. We want to experience the ground realities on the 200-km stretch of Yamuna to Agra. This understanding shall become the basis of a concrete program over the next two years for the revival of the river as a people's action,” said Manoj Misra, convenor of the forum.
The group, which has been carrying on an indefinite demonstration on the banks of Yamuna for almost a year now, plans to form a plan of action after studying the river’s 200-km stretch. The bikers plan to halt at villages and even source food and other needs from there over the ten days. The journey will cover villages and towns like Tigaon, Bodoli, Kosi, Vrindavan, Mathura, Farah, Agra on the right bank and Gokul, Naujhil and Dankor, Greater NOIDA on the left bank. “There will be halts and interactions with villagers to understand their relationship with the river,” Misra said.
Youth for Justice, the group of youngsters has its mobikes ready. A support vehicle will be in tow of the bikes. “A few people came on board in response to an invite we sent out on the internet,” said Kapil Mishra, head of the group.
There was an initial disagreement on the mode of transport to be used as some members had concerns about using air-polluting motor vehicles for a green cause.