River Festival 2018

नदी महोत्सव 2018

Ten years ago, the noted environmentalist and the late Union Environment Minister Shri. Anil Madhav Dave initiated a dialogue on the banks of Narmada in Bandrabhan, which is known as Nadi Mahotsav (River Festival). Through four such events, he took this flow ahead. Today, when he is not amongst us, we need to carry forward his dream ahead, the dream of making rivers nirmal and aviral.

Narmada Samagra is organising the 5th River Festival will be organised on its traditional venue, i.e. the confluence of River Narmada & Tawa at Bandrabhan, in Dist. Hoshangabad on March 16-17, 2018.

This year’s theme is “Eco-System of Tributaries” and the discussions will revolve around on four sub-topics namely,

– नदी किनारे की संस्कृति एवं समाज (Riparian Society & Culture);
– नदी, कृषि एवं आजीविका का परस्पर संबंध (River, Farming and Livelihood) ;
– नदी का अस्तित्व और जैव-विविधता (Existence of River and Bio-diversity) ;
– सहायक नदियों का संरक्षण : नीतियाँ, नियम और संभावनाएँ (Conservation of Tributaries: Policies, Law and Possibilities);

Aim of this festival is to provide a platform to the river activists/environmentalists working worldwide on various aspects of river, to come together and share their experience and ideas which will be helpful in formulation of a global policy and plan of action for river conservation and restoration activities in future.

Tributaries of any river are its lifeline. In fact, tributaries are often described as the arteries of any river system. Much has been said about the importance of the tributaries in the past. Therefore, perhaps there is no need to underline it again and again. But there is no denying the fact that only healthy arteries can make a river robust.

This too has been discussed time and again. And there is always a consensus on conserving and strengthening the tributaries. But how do we do it? What is the role of the society? How can our cultural heritage be employed to promote this system? Such issues have always been lost in the din of demands for action by the governments. Yes, the governments too, have a role to play in ensuring their health. But not the primary role. That lies with the society. It cannot escape this responsibility.

So, how do we do it? Diverse minds will have to put in their heart into exercise. Hence, this 5th River Festival is an attempt to discuss and devise a road map for a healthy system of tributaries of rivers across India.

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Previous River Festivals

Forth River Festival 2015

From 13th – 15th February 2015 Bandrabhan Hoshangabad (M.P.)

The theme of 4th River Festival (RF’15) was “River, its Catchment Area, Chemicals & Crisis”.

Total Participants 1148
River representatives 584
Representation from other countries 01
Farmers 25
Narmada Anuragi 125
Law Experts (including students) 22
Organising Committee 14
One day participants 225
Others 152

Day 1: The day first welcomed Hon’ble Sh.Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Chief Minister Govt. of Madhya Pradesh), Swami Chidanand Saraswati and other dignitaries. They addressed the importance of River and what we need to do for the conservation of Rivers and water. Second session post lunch was addressed by Sh. A.Suryaprakash, President Prasar Bharti. An interactive session was held to find the importance of media in environment conservation. Mr Surya Prakash assured his bit by declaring a new channel soon to be initialized on Doordarshan related to the farmers. Sh.Popat Rao Pawar, an eminent Social worker stressed on importance certain disciplines regarding environment and water conservation. He shared his successful experience on how he developed his village ” Hivre Bazaar”. Continued by Sh. Sunil Deshpande, Bamboo specialist explained the importance and usage of bamboo in environment friendly way also presented a Bamboo toilet sample of future which is potable and eco friendly as well as effective in use. River representatives from Nila River Kerela had their upcoming River Festival in May in Kerela, logo inaugurated by C.M. Late parallel sessions were continued till 10 pm in different groups.

Day 2: Chief Guest for the day two was Manniya Shri. Bhaiyya Ji Joshi (Gen.Secretary,RSS), raised on “Environment-Humans & their interdependence”. Second Session of the day-was conducted by Shri. Umesh Sharma (CEO,Jan Abhiyan Parishad) and Shri.Raghvendra Gautam (Advisor, Jan Abhiayan Parishad), an interactive session with the 310 river representatives from all over Madhya Pradesh. People working on river from all other states (Godavari River, Sonar River, Hindon River, Garh Ganga, Kshipra River, Mahadei, Tendoni River & Neela River.) of India represented their Rivers and also shared their work and experiences.

Day 3: Chief Guest for third day of the festival was Sushri.Uma Bharti (Hon’ble Minister for Water Resources & Ganga Rejuvenation) along with Shri Shri 1008 Shadmukhanand Maharaj, Heerapur, Narsinghpur. Hon’ble Minister focussed on formation of Rivers and its use. Next Session Introduced by Shri. Purushaindra Kaurav (Addl. Advocate General, Madhya Pradesh), Under Presidency of Shri. Devdutt Dharmadhikari (Former Judge, Supreme Court), Chief Guest Justice Shri. Dilip Singh (President NGT, Central Zone) discussed on Laws, Rules to be amended for Environment and River Conservation. Law students and makers were present at the session and had very fruitful interactive session.
Closing word of Thanks by Shri. Rao Uday Pratap Singh (Member of Parliament)! With a wish to be back with “Clean River – Green Environment”. Next Rive Festival was declared to be held in 2018.

Third International River Festival-2013

From 8th – 10th February 2013 Bandrabhan Hoshangabad (M.P.)

Total Participants 1794
Three days participation 526
Working on rivers 32
Representation from other countries 02
Public Representatives 46
Students of Journalism 41
Law Experts (including students) 72
NGO’s (51 districts of Madhya Pradesh) 372

The IRF’13 was held from February 08 to 10, 2013. The theme for this year’s deliberation was: “Rivers – Policies, Law and Leadership”. A major point of engagement is the impact of global warming on the life cycles of the rivers. Every small and big river flowing from its origin to the point of merger does not belong to just one region, one state or for that matter, even one country. It belongs to the entire eco-system. Any change in it has direct impact on all of us. Hence, all of us need to worry about it. During this festival, the discussion was on our approach towards rivers and also the policies or the laws that govern our rivers. Various dimensions of the leadership that is required for the conservation of rivers were reassessed.

The three day event was divided to discuss on Policies, Law and Leadership respectively. During the day one of Policy, those people and organisations working on rivers or in the field of water discussed the policy/policies for river. Day two on Law saw many experts and students from law institutions, universities, institutions working for forests and land discussed and came up with a base paper on ‘Law/Rules/Norms’ for the rivers. The third day was for Leadership (leaders such as administrative, political, religious, economic, etc.). Sarpanchs from villages on Narmada banks, elected representatives from a far, administrative officials and those providing leadership in different fields came together on a common platform.

On the basis of these discussions and interactions at various levels during the festival Narmada Samagra compiled it to form a vision document, a “Bandrabhan Draft on Our Rivers – Policies, Law and Leadership”. It is an outcome of success of International River Festival 2013.

Second International River Festival-2010

From 21st – 23rd March 2010 Bandrabhan Hoshangabad (M.P.)

Program Highlights

Total Participants 733
Representation from other countries 08
Combined session 5
Technical session 15
Open session 01
Research Papers 91

Outcome / follow up action

Deliberations were made during simultaneous technical sessions on all the subjects ranging from water, Ghats, Forests, Land, Life, Pollution, Culture, Agriculture, Economics of river, Bio-diversity and Rivers and the government. In this event renowned scientists, Representatives from other countries, Socialists & Environmentalists participated and shared their experiences. On the basis of their ideas and views Bandrabhan declaration was prepared.

First International river festival-2008

From 23rd -25th February, 2008 in Bandrabhan Hoshangabad(M.P.).

Program Highlights

Total Participants 577
Representation from other countries 16
Combined session 5
Technical session 24
Research Papers 110

Outcome / follow up action

Narmada Samagra organized this event in which renowned scientists, Representatives from other countries, Socialists & Environmentalists participated and shared their experiences. On the basis of their ideas and views Bandrabhan declaration was prepared.

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