In a symbolic protest, activists of River Connect organised a ‘sand bath’ on the bank of river Yamuna on Monday. They were protesting against the shrinking waters of the river.
The protesters gathered at ‘Itimad-ud-daula’ viewing point on Yamuna bank, erected small peaks of river sand and smeared it on their bodies. The symbolic protest generated a lot of interest among the passers-by, who stopped to watch the proceedings.
Explaining the concept behind the sand bath protest, Braj Khandelwal, convener of the campaign said, “If there will be no water left in river Yamuna, masses will have no other option but to bathe with sand instead of water as there would be nothing else in the river basin.”
“We have been raising the issue of scarcity of water in river Yamuna for a long time now. The falling quality and quantity of river water becomes an issue during every election. However, once elections are over, the issue gets buried,” complained Khandelwal.
He added, “Denizens are forced to drink poor quality water and the problem escalates during summer. Officials come and get transferred and thus are unable to grasp the scale of the problems that lie in store due to the depletion of Yamuna water.”
Khandelwal further warned that if the water crisis continued, it would affect the tourism industry adversely, which in turn would hit the economy of the city. “Now a new menace has surfaced –insects are turning walls of Taj green by leaving stains on it. It is also affecting the protected site of Itimad-ud-daula. These insects are breeding on pollution and piles of garbage that is disposed off in Yamuna,” he stated.