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Last Updated Monday October 23 2017 05:55 AM IST

World Rivers Day: Activists to focus on plight of River Yamuna | Pics

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River Yamuna The polluted River Yamuna

As hundreds of voluntary groups across 70 countries prepare to celebrate World Rivers Day on Sunday, river activists in Vrindavan and Agra have drawn up plans to highlight the sad state of the river Yamuna, the life-line of Krishna's Braj mandal.

In Vrindavan, activists will clean the ghats and hold a rally, while in Agra a photo exhibition on river pollution and a public meeting at the river bank is planned.

River Yamuna Despite being one of the most polluted rivers in India, River Yamuna is still worshiped by many.

With many of the world's rivers facing severe and increasing threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, over 70 countries are participating in this year's festivities.

Many events around the world will focus on educational and public awareness activities while others will include river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and community riverside celebrations.

River Yamuna The River Yamuna flows past the Taj Mahal in Agra. Photo: Rajan M Thomas

World Rivers Day strives to increase public awareness of the importance of the waterways as well as the many threats confronting them.

"Rivers are integral to all life. Yet, many waterways continue to face an array of threats and are often impacted by inappropriate practices and inadequate protection," said Mark Angelo, World Rivers Day Chair and Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

River Yamuna A holy dip in the River Yamuna

Endorsed by the United Nations University and the International Network on Water, Environment, and Health, and with groups such as the Blue Planet Links as lead sponsor and with the support of others such as the Sitka Foundation, the World Rivers Day events will include activities in countries ranging from Canada to Britain, Australia to the US, Argentina to Kenya, Dominica to Puerto Rico, and across the great rivers of Europe.

"Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organisations will be contributing to World Rivers Day," Angelo said.

River Yamuna An elephant seen bathing in the Yamuna

"It provides a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our waterways. At the same time, the event strives to create a greater awareness of the urgent need to better care for our rivers and streams," Angelo added.

"World Rivers Day is rightfully hailed for its global effort to increase awareness about the vital importance of our water resources and the need to properly protect and steward them in the face of mounting pressures," Robert Sandford, EPCOR Chair of Water Security at United Nations University, and an internationally recognized expert on scarcity and conservation issues, said.

River Yamuna A man is seen discarding garbage into the Yamuna

(With agency inputs)

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