Bridging the gap between Yamuna and its people | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Bridging the gap between Yamuna and its people

Babita Kashyap, 35, who belongs to a fisherman’s family, was overwhelmed at the sight of a clean Yamuna next to the Wazirabad water works of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in north Delhi on Wednesday.

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2011 00:54 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Babita Kashyap, 35, who belongs to a fisherman’s family, was overwhelmed at the sight of a clean Yamuna next to the Wazirabad water works of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in north Delhi on Wednesday.

The first thought for the resident of Madanpur Khadar, downstream the Okhla barrage, was: “Unlike our area, water is so clean. The catch would be much more. Our income would increase if the river is pollution free.” Babita and her husband Bhola, a fishing contractor, together with several people from diverse background — Dwijender Kalia, a river specialist; Urmi Chakraborty, a school teacher from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya among others — had gathered at the DJB unit as part of an exchange programme called Yamuna Katha.

Organised by German government’s developmental arm GIZ, the participants of the four-day programme will be exploring the river-city dyad.

Class IX students from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya gave a presentation on their understanding of the issue of pollution vis-à-vis urban sanitation. One of them, Anshula Mehta, said, “Social isolation can be mirrored by physical isolation. Access to sanitation can bring about the desired change.”

Dr Ritu Priya, professor at the School of Social Sciences, JNU, gave the historical perspective of water distribution concepts. “There was never a place for people from class four in the British design for New Delhi. This led to inhabitation of the fringes and these unauthorised colonies increases untreated sewage,” she said.

The group later went to Majnu ka Tila, a Tibetan colony, where they held a discussion with the colony representatives after attending a cultural programme organised by the Tibetan school students.

Over the next three days, the group members would travel along the Yamuna bank and visit places and hold discussions right next to the river, the very subject of all deliberations to bridge the gap between the river and Delhiites.