Rivers March, a community-driven initiative started by a few like-minded people, has planned a “Dandi March” to put forth their demand for rejuvenation of rivers. The group has invited citizens to walk 5km along the four rivers of Mumbai on March 6 to demand not just technical restoration of rivers but an aesthetic rejuvenation as well.Rivers March founder member Gopal Javeri said, “We have been having a lot of discussions about river restoration but nothing seems to be happening on ground. Since we believe in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, we decided to organise a 5km walk along all four rivers. First, we want locals staying in close vicinity around these four rivers to understand that the flowing ‘sewer’ they have been seeing in their neighbourhood for a long time is actually a river. Then there will be a louder voice raised, seeking revival of these rivers.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The organisers are already coordinating with schools and colleges located in the vicinity of the path of rivers, so that there is a long-term commitment. They have also started using social media to spread the word about the walk.”We have already finalised the routes. The Dahisar march will begin from Rustomjee School and head towards Dahisar village. The Poisar march will start from Poisar village and end at Mith Chowky. The Oshiwara march will be from Ram Mandir to Lokhandwala lake, and the Mithi march will start from Maharashtra Nature Park and end at BKC,” said Javeri, adding that they have already tied up with Rustomjee School and Khalsa College, and their students would be a part of the walks.In addition, there are plans to hold a detailed cleaning drive and discussion along the Dahisar river. As per plans, 2015 Stockholm Water awardee Rajendra Singh has agreed to be the face of the movement, and he will participate in the Dahisar river march.”There are talks by the government about cleaning up rivers such as Ganga and others on priority. So, our question is, can’t Maharashtra state government ensure that these four small rivers of Mumbai are properly restored and not just by building embankments but also ensuring that the flowing water is of good quality,” said Javeri.Deputy director of Maharashtra Nature Park, Avinash Kubal, said, “We recently held a symposium titled Reviving and Nurturing River and other Urban Water Ecologies of Mumbai. The idea was to hold talks and initiate a discussion on rivers’ revival. The march is the next step to build awareness about how locals will have to play an important role in the revival of rivers.”

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