PUNE: ‘Take a selfie with a river’, an initiative started by Samarth Bharat on the ocassion of World Water Day, received more than 500 photographs on their Facebook page. Photos of people taking selfies on river banks in the city highlighted various problems on the river banks.
Samarth Bharat is a volunteer engagement platform for people who conduct social activities in the city. Along with the selfie initiative, Samarth Bharat had also informed its Facebook followers to walk along river banks to understand issues related to rivers and study the biodiversity.
Around 70 volunteers from Samarth Bharat and several Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), who work for river development, gathered at Baba Bhide Bridge in Narayan Peth and walked beside the river bank of Mutha river till Mhatre Bridge, Erandwane.
Geeta Kulkarni, coordinator of Samarth Bharat for this project, said, “The main objective of this walk was to get to know the problems of rivers and river banks. We spotted several places where the bank was unclean and the Mutha river is extensively polluted. Though there are no stories related to river pollution posted by any followers yet on the page, photos are continuously being posted by people.”
She further said, “Our next step will be forming groups of people from NGOs connected to us. The first group will be of people who will study how river pollution happens, the second group will study river bank problems and the third group will take a look at government policies on rivers and if they are being implemented properly. We are not going against the government, but our aim is to spread awareness and support government policies taken for development of rivers.”