We launched our latest project, Ganga: Moving Upstream, a few days ago, with the basic facts† that weíre going to walk 3000kms from the seas to the glaciers in search of stories about the river that we should be discussing in the mainstream. This isnít just about the Ganga or rivers only, but about all our natural and cultural ecosystems which are being depleted or destroyed in the name of development/modernisation. Starting with todayís article, weíre going to bring out various facets of the upcoming project, telling you how you can be a part of it and help us make it possible.
The past few months have been filled with stories of droughts in half of the districts in the country, rising in the past month to water wars in the Marathwada region to news of people eating chapati and salt in the Bundelkhand region, all with a back drop of a looming global water crisis. But something like this can not happen overnight, and surely not worthy of news that comes as a surprise when almost 50% of the population is affected by the issue at hand. Then why does the condition remain to be so?
Over time, the rural-urban divide, especially the divide between the farmers who grow our food to us who consume it, has grown to an extent where it has become easy to dissociate ourselves from the stories and issues of the country side. A serious lack of empathy coupled with numerical figures of economic development adds to the rural or forest manís woes. His calls are unheard even when his land stays parched or is snatched, both at the mercy of a superior power that seems to remain non-responsive to his pain.
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This walk along the Ganga (like previous projects and activities) is an attempt to bridge this gap and make these stories part of the mainstream. Weíre trying to bring out real conversations in an interactive format that makes it more audible, more consumable and hopefully triggers empathy within the audience. Wrapping up this article by mentioning the three broad perspectives that weíre looking at covering in this project:
1. The condition of the river, varying in its journey from the mountains to to seas.
2. The effect of human activities (settlements + industrial) on the river and itís ecosystem.
3. The effect of the riverís condition (man made + natural) on people who inhabit the areas along it.
Weíre currently raising funds to help make this journey possible. You can contribute here: ket.to/MovingUpstream and if it isnít possible for you to contribute, help by sharing it with your friends. More details soon!