Mann Ki Baat: Modi cites Naganadhi to urge communities to revive dying rivers
Prime Minister Narendra on Sunday mentioned about the rejuvenation of Naganadhi river during the 81st episode of his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
Addessing the Mann Ki Baat earlier today, which coincided with the World Rivers Day, Modi stressed the importance of conservation of rivers and their importance in Indian tradition and cultures.
Modi said many people and communities have dedicated themselves to the cause of rejuvenation of dying rivers, including Naganadhi, which flows through Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu.
The Naganadhi river with its catchment area in Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts had dried up many years ago. The groundwater in the area reduced subsequently making the area bore-well dependent.
In 2014, taking the guidance of geologist Lingaraju Yale, ex-director of Karnataka State Remote Sensing and Application Centre and now with the Art of Living River Rejuvenation project, Chandrasekaran, director of the Naganadhi River Rejuvenation programme designed a model to revive the river.
An army of over a 1,000 women from 21 villages of a block in Vellore district built recharge wells and check dams to revive the groundwater which, in turn, gave life back to the river.
The Prime Minister said women of the area took up the cudgels to rejuvenate their river which had almost dried up.
“You would be glad to know that today, the river is brimming with water. And truly, when a river is full of water, it lends such tranquility to the mind…I have actually witnessed the experience,” Modi said.
The groundwater recharge work has now been extended to nine other Tamil Nadu districts led by close to 20,000 women.
“The government and social service organisations keep undertaking one endeavour or the other in order to rejuvenate rivers throughout the country and cleanse the waters,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “It has been going on for decades now. There are some people who have dedicated themselves to these causes. And it is this very tradition, this very endeavour, this very faith that has saved our rivers.”
Modi also cited the example of Sabarmati river in Gujarat. He said parts of the river dried up during the past few decades as there is no for six to eight months every year. However, after Narmada and Sabarmati rivers were linked, it helped rejuvenate it.
“If you go to Ahmedabad today, the waters of river Sabarmati fill one’s heart with such joy,” Modi said, while praising the women of Tamil Nadu for their intiative to rejuvenate Naganadhi river.