MAD launches new campaign to take the plight of Rispana river to every Doonite

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Dehradun-based student activist group, Making a Difference by Being the Difference continued its Rispana river rejuvenation awareness program with the commencement of a series of trekking activities – Ek Mulakaat Rispana Se along the stretch of the Rispana river on Sunday. Through this campaign, MAD aims to document the on-ground status of Rispana, the variation of the river throughout its course, and contamination zones.

On Sunday at 6:30 am, members of the organization assembled near Silver City. More than a dozen students and volunteers then made their way to Old Rajpur, from where they began a trek through the upper riparian area of the Rispana valley. Part of the Rispana river from Shehenshahi Ashram to Kathbangla was covered. MAD also aims to cover the whole of the Rispana river in the upcoming weeks.

MAD members have been campaigning extensively to rejuvenate the Rispana river since 2011. Earlier MAD had given a special presentation to a high-powered committee led by the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand on its inputs to rejuvenate Rispana. These inputs dealt with the National Institute of Hydrology Roorkee report prepared in 2014, which had earmarked Rispana as a perennial stream and had laid down a brief roadmap to continue with further studies and to initiate a rejuvenation program. MAD demands the consideration and implementation of this report. MAD had also suggested that since the Ministry of Environment and Forest had accepted that Rispana and Bindal form a part of the Ganga River Basin, their revival should be undertaken as an integral part of the Namami Gange program.

In 2018, during the tenure of the Trivendra Singh Rawat government, MAD successfully organized the Rispana Returns program at CM’s residence. MAD continued with the Rispana walks and clean-up drives across the river stretch till the lockdown forced the group to stop their on-ground activities for a while.

As the trek continued onward, MAD members were made aware of these specific policy achievements of the group’s campaign. For the new members specifically, this was their first direct interaction with the river, which is considered dead in the city but still blooming in Old Rajpur.

In the course of the trek, members noted the plastic waste littered all around and discussed the prospects of starting an intense awareness campaign among the youth to ensure the Rispana valley is not left in this condition. During this trek, members tried to understand the on-ground status of the Rispana river and its contaminants.

MAD plans to continue its Rispana oriented activities to ensure that the project is taken forward not just with active citizen cooperation but with active youth participation.

Sunday’s activity commenced at 6:30 am and continued till 11 am. More than a dozen students and volunteers participated in this trek. The activity was coordinated by Aryan and Devyash. Present in the activity were Keshav, Ashutosh, Divyanshi, Shardul, Kartikay, Agrima, Saurabh, Chetna, Vishakha, Prince, Devyanshi, Manisha, Jiya, Shagun, Yashraj, Daksh, Darish, Anushka, and Yash.

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