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Ahead of the world rivers day on September 27, the river activists in Agra cleaned up the Yamuna riverbank, opposite the Etmauddaula tomb and planted saplings of Kadamb, a favourite of Sri Krishna.
Green activists of an NGO ‘India Rising’ led by Sandeep Agarwal, spruced up the river bank and cleaned up the Etmauddaula viewpoint park, which is a favourite spot of the tourists visiting Agra. Agarwal told IANS: “The plight of Yamuna is pathetic and when you realize that best Mughal monuments along its banks are dependent on the river water to strengthen the foundations and control air pollution, you wonder what the government agencies have been doing all these decades.”
Members of the River Connect Campaign have been mobilizing public opinion to pressure the state government to speed up work on the Yamuna barrage, downstream of the Taj Mahal. Eminent environmentalists say ,”We want the Yamuna to be cleaned up, dredged of its pollutants and a minimum flow of water in the river assured by the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department.”
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On the World Rivers Day, we will organize a rally and conduct special ‘puja’ of the Yamuna river to appease Yam Raj, the god of death and brother of Yamuna maiyya, said Pandit Jugal Kishor.
The world rivers day will be celebrated on Sunday, September 27 which also is the World Tourism Day, by millions of people. Thousands of events around the world will mark the day.
This day has become one of the largest environmental celebrations on the planet.
With many of the world’s rivers facing increasing pressures associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, close to 100 countries will participate in this year’s festivities.
The theme of this year’s event is “waterways in our communities” with a special emphasis on the need to protect and restore urban waterways which are often under great pressure.
“The importance of clean fresh water has been essential to the fight against Covid-19, so World Rivers Day is a timely opportunity for literally millions of people around the world to come together to commemorate the importance of healthy vibrant waterways,” said Mark Angelo, the founder and Chair of World Rivers Day.
The World Rivers Day commemorates the many values of rivers and encourages river stewardship and conservation around the globe — massive worldwide event involving up to 100 countries — has its roots in British Columbia Rivers Day, which celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Events this year will include those of either a virtual or physical nature depending on local Covid-19 circumstances. Many events will focus on educational and public awareness activities while others will include socially distanced river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and community riverside events. Activities of a digital nature will include school projects, art festivals, the launching of new campaigns, online essays and poems, digital photo contests and galleries, new research projects, live-stream panels, and virtual film initiatives, among other examples.
This year is the 15th annual World Rivers Day, which has its roots in the great success of BC Rivers Day, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Canada’s western-most province and which Angelo founded in conjunction with the Outdoor Recreation Council. “World Rivers Day strives to increase public awareness of the importance of our waterways as well as the many threats confronting them,” said Angelo, founder of both BC and World Rivers Day and Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
“Rivers are integral to all life,” said Angelo, who has paddled more than 1,000 rivers in over 100 countries, perhaps more than any other. Angelo’s life-long commitment to river conservation, including the founding of World Rivers Day, is also the subject of the upcoming feature-length film, “Last Paddle; 1000 Rivers, One Life”.
Endorsed in its inaugural year by the United Nations University and the International Network on Water, Environment, and Health, and with groups such as the Sitka Foundation and Pacific Salmon Foundation, as lead sponsors along with the support of the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Vancouver Sun and Province, World Rivers Day events will take place across six continents in countries ranging from Canada to England, the US to India, Australia to Bangladesh, Austria to Nigeria, and from French Guiana to Caribbean nations such as Dominica; the list goes on and on. (IANS)
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.