Now, a virtual course to know rivers better

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) Sensing the urgent need for the young generation to understand the complex ecosystem of the rivers and also to connect people with water and river related issues, Magsaysay awardee, senior water activist Rajendra Singh on Saturday launched a course ‘Let Us Know Our Rivers’.

Singh’s organisation, Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS) at a virtual event launched the course, which he said was a logical extension of what he and his team have been doing prior to Covid-induced lockdown.

“We were conducting some training sessions, we were doing field visits to the rivers and studying how community participation can work wonders. But it all stopped due to the pandemic,” Singh said.

The virtual course is aimed at making people, especially youngsters, understand the science, economics, culture, and spiritual aspects of water in its various forms, especially the rivers, the Stockholm Water awardee said.

Stating that his country’s name is derived from the river Bosnia, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to India, Muhamed Cengic said, Bosnia has more waterfalls than France and Spain put together.

“In my country, earlier people drank water from anywhere, any river. But over the years, the condition changed. Fortunately, more and more people are waking up, and civil society is becoming more aware,” Cengic said and observed how in his world, the water solution is related to technology but in India, it is more about social impact that establishes a connection with nature.”

Dr Indira Khurana, the vice-chair of Tarun Bharat Sangh, said rivers are like arteries and veins of a human body. “The health of the planet is linked to the health of the rivers.”

Talking about the course, Country Head of German non-profit, WelthungerHilfe, Nivedita Varshney said, “Through the journey of the course, the students can come closer to ecology, nature and in general make nature connect.”

The pre-registration for the course received a whopping 1500 plus applications, the TBS said, adding there were few foreigners who evinced interest but were declined admission for technical reasons. Taking that thread, the launch event also discussed a possible next course for rivers at the global level.

The course is divided into four modules: ‘What is a river?’; ‘Parts of rivers and associated problems’; ‘Groundwater recharge and river rejuvenation’, and ‘River Management.’

It will have recorded lectures by Rajendra Singh, will take students on virtual tours to understand the reality of the impact of climate change on rivers and also help one in exploring traditional methods of conserving water bodies and to the villages, where communities have revived dead rivers through watershed management.



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