Pune’s Jeevitnadi receives Bhagirath Prayaas Samman 2020 award

Share This News

Akash Dhanurkar

Pune based NGO Jeevitnadi – Living River Foundation has received the prestigious Bhagirath Prayaas Samman 2020 award on the occasion of India River Day recently.

The work done by Pune’s Jeevitnadi Living River Foundation has been recognised by India Rivers Forum with the prestigious Bhagirath Prayaas Samman 2020 on the occasion of India River Day.

The award recognises the unsung heroes for their outstanding and sustained efforts towards protection and conservation of rivers.

In her acceptance speech, the founder-director of Jeevitnadi Shailaja Deshpande said, “On behalf of all the Directors of Jeevitnadi – myself Shailaja, and our other directors – Aditi Deodhar, Kirti Wani, Manish Ghorpade, Niranjan Upasani and Dharmaraj Patil, we thank the organisers – India Rivers Forum and the respected jury, for making Jeevitnadi a recipient of the prestigious “Bhagirath Prayas Samman“ award, given to organisations working on rivers. We, all directors dedicate this award to all our core members, all our passionate river warriors working on different stretches in Pune. We dedicate this award to our gurus — late Prakasha Gole, Dr Rajguru, Dr Pramod Moghe, Dr Swati Gole and many more who taught us various aspects of a river. We dedicate the award to associated organisations who supported us in all our activities. We also dedicate this award to all those river warriors of our country who are working relentlessly on rivers in different parts of our country.”

She added that Jeevitnadi believes that it is not just an organisation but a concept of a living river, which all river warriors are dreaming about, and also working tirelessly towards restoration of rivers through ecological approach.

Sarang Yadwadkar, practising architect and urban planner, was also awarded the Bhagirath Prayaas Samman 2020 in appreciation of his dedicated and unflagging efforts to protect the ecological integrity of the Mula-Mutha river in Pune. Mr Yadwadkar is a strong ally for Jeevitnadi. The Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal 2020 was awarded to Makarand Purohit in appreciation of his efforts to highlight the importance of river and water conservation through his reportage. Jeevitnadi congratulates Mr Yadwadkar and Mr Purohit for their well-deserved award.

Jeevitnadi Living River Foundation was founded in January 2014 by alumni of Ecological Society, Pune. Jeevitnadi has introduced the concept of river rejuvenation through community participation in Pune city. The organisation works for the Mula, Mutha, and Ramnadi. Additionally, river warriors connected with Jeevitnadi work on Indrayani and Pawana rivers in Pune, Meena at Narayangaon, Vedavati in Satara district, Ulhas at Kalyan, Dahisar, Terekhol in Savantwadi. My River, My Responsibility, the slogan by Jeevitnadi, is widely accepted by various groups in Pune and different parts of Maharashtra. The organisation has connected more than 50,000 people with the river over the last six years through their programs like Muthai river walk and nature walk, Adopt A River Stretch, Toxin-Free Lifestyle sessions, Muthai River Festival, Events by The River, and Wetland Development.

We urge you to participate in this celebration and fight for the river by joining us! The time has come to be proactive and give the rivers their rights. Visit our page to find out how you can join us: http://jeevitnadi.org

In the month of November 2020, Jeevitnadi has been actively involved in the arrest of illegal sand miners at the Ramnadi-Mula confluence. The volunteers had been keeping a sharp watch on the area since April 2020. Vaishali Patkar, Pushkar Kulakarni, Jeevitnadi and citizens of Aundh, Baner, Pashan, Pimpale Nilakh etc came together to highlight the issue through continuous watch on the rich riparian zone of the confluence, and through persistent follow-ups with authorities of the Pune Municipal Corporation, collector’s office and police. The media too has taken cognisance of the terrible destruction at the confluence due to illegal sand mining.

India Rivers Forum constituted the Bhagirath Prayaas Samman (BPS) in 2014 with Late Shri Ramaswamy Iyer as the chair of the jury. India Rivers Forum has been created to establish a vibrant and active network of organizations and individuals who have dedicated themselves to work for the rejuvenation and restoration of rivers.

The forum celebrates India Rivers Week during November each year. As part of India Rivers Week celebrations in 2020, India Rivers Forum has organized a series of Dialogues with a focus on the theme: “Is sand mining killing our rivers?” This included four regional dialogues focusing on East, West, North and South India, and the final one focusing on Sand Mining as a National issue.