By now the World cultural festival is over and the media brouhaha has also died. So why am I writing this article so late?
After the conclusion of WCF, there was leading environment scientist Mr. Rakesh Kumar from NEERI stated that WCF has not damaged Yamuna Flat pane in any tangible way, and as expected our media and NGO ganged up against him.
The convener of NGO in center of this controversy “Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan” said this to Firstpost
Neeri has expertise in environmental engineering, and it is not an institution with any in-depth scientific capacity to study rivers as ecological entities including the importance of ecological sensitivities involved with river flood plains. It’s most unlikely that the person in question has any expertise or mandate to assess ecological damages that have resulted from the event in question. Moreover ecological damages in such matters occur as much during the process of carrying out any construction activity as much from the construction itself or the high footfall during the event.
I decided to study the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan (YJA) and get a complete picture.
Manoj Mishra of YJA said Rakesh kumar does not have expertise as he belong to environment engineering. Fair point so what expertise Manoj Mishra has ? Mr Manoj Mishra is a wild life expert!
Is wild life expertise = Environment expertise? If environment engineering is not equal to environment expertise, then by same yard stick wild life expertise is also not equal to environmental expertise. It was an incidence of pot calling the kettle back.
Than I went to see what YJA does for betterment of Yamuna. The YJA is run by peace institute. The website was defunt.
Tough luck! So I saw their blog and Facebook page to get a sense of their contribution to Yamuna Cleaning. By their blog and Facebook, I figured out that their activities can be classified into workshop, river walk, trip around river, protest march, taking picture of garbage 🙂 and yes…writing letters, petitions & articles, giving talks and filing cases
There was no photo or article of river cleaning in last 5 years!!!
Not a single event where YJA has actually cleaned the Yamuna river bed.
To their credit, they do file returns to FCRA. Their FCRA returns (Registration Number : 231650380) gave some more insights of their “contribution” towards cleaning the Yamuna.
|Year||Previous balance||Receipt during the year||Utilized||Balance||Activities|
|2013||1,819,512||6,185,178||4,592,080||3,412,610||Activities for improvement of river and dependent people’s health|
|2014||3,412,610||284,165||1,463,260||2,233,516||Yamuna River restoration techniques development
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND AWARENESS GENERATION ACTIVITIES YAMUNA ECO-SCHOLAR, (YES) ACTIVITIES ALONG RIVER YAMUNA
|2015||2,233,516||352,690||1,307,394||1,278,811||India Rivers Week|
In last 5 years, they have burnt close to 1 crore rupees without actually doing anything on ground to clean the river.
Now compare it to AOL foundation contribution which started cleaning river 5 years back. I can safely say that probably AOL has done much more towards cleaning Yamuna than this NGO in past 5 years. In fact, YJA has contributed to Yamuna cleaning as much as I have contributed – absolutely Zilch. At least I have not burnt money in the name of “Cleaning” Yamuna.
NGT has asked AOL to donate 5 Cr for Yamuna cleaning. Let NGT also ask AOL to spent 1000 Man hours for Yamuna cleaning. But NGT should also ask Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan (YJA) to also contribute 50 Lakh and 100 Man hours (10% of AOL) for Yamuna Cleaning. Since both claim they want Yamuna to be clean hence both should readily agree. And that way NGT will also not become a tool of doing Hit jobs on others.
Disclaimer: Our country has freedom of speech only for the selected few. So if I have missed out on any facts please point out and I will be happy to incorporate them and revisit my article.