Save Rivers, Save Tomorrow
Swami Avadheshanand Giri, Swami Chidanand Saraswati and other senior saints laud the efforts of reviving Panwdhoi River in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Saharanpur: “We have lost Saraswati and many other ancient rivers as well as useful water bodies due to gross human errors. Rivers are the forms of Goddess and water is life. Their cleanliness must be ensured by everyone at any cost,” said Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avadheshanand Giri Maharaj, while joining the Jal Mahotsav organised on June 2 on the bank of newly revived river Panwdhoi. Swami Chidanand Saraswati from Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Swami Yatindranand Giri and Yogacharya Shri Bharat Bhushan also blessed the gathering on the occasion.
Swami Avadheshanand Giri being welcomed at Jal Mahotsava by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Shri Bharat Bhushan, Shri CP Tripathi, Smt Shobha Tripathi and Shri Alok Pandey 
Swami Avadheshanand Giri expressed concern over the growing pollution at the pilgrimage places in the country. “People have forgotten the basic norms which were strictly followed for the rivers and water bodies. There was a time when no one entered into the river or the water body without answering the nature’s call and it was strictly prohibited to go for nature’s call in the catchment areas of the rivers or water bodies. People had an understanding of all these norms and they followed them without any pressure. Unfortunately, today most of our pilgrimage places, cities, rivers, water bodies, wells, etc are symbols of pollution. Yamuna is not even worth touching. Instead of reverence, people hate Ganga also in Haridwar and Kashi because of pollution. Ganga water in Rishikesh is not worth drinking and in Haridwar it is not worth having a bath. Both their water and probity are in dangers. But the revival of Panwdhoi develops a hope and reminds us to act today to save our tomorrow. Everyone should contribute in this pious act,” he said while stressing the need on large scale plantation on the banks of rivers.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati said with the decrease of water our understanding about water too has decreased. “The natural link between the sea and the Himalayas is water, which does not accept any boundary of caste, religion or region. We need to understand this link between the Himalayas and the water and change our conduct accordingly,” he said. He said the efforts being made to clean Ganga by both the Centre and Uttar Pradesh Government should be lauded. He appealed to the youth to take up river cleanliness drives in their respective areas. 
Swami Yatindranand Giri said the rivers are the veins of the universe. If we fail to protect them today, we will also lose our existence. District Magistrate of Saharanpur Shri Alok Pandey said initially he was not convinced that the efforts of river revival would produce results but now he is moved with the success of the revival of Panwdhoi. Mayor Sanjeev Walia said the second phase of cleaning the river is the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation and they would do it with sincerity. Yogacharya Shri Bharat Bhushan also spoke.
In the beginning, Swami Avadheshanand Giri, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Commissioner Shri CP Tripathi and other dignitaries performed puja of Panwdhoi. Then some youth had a bath in the river. On this occasion, foundation stones were laid for several projects. Channelisation of the river was inaugurated.
It is to be noted that efforts were made many times to clean Panwdhoi during the last 50 years, but they could not show results. But the efforts made by the then District Magistrate Shri Alok Kumar in 2008 and Commissioner Shri CP Tripathi (who retired on May 30) now have generated a hope that the river can be revived.
Shri Alok Kumar specially visited Saharanpur on May 30 and inspected the work done for the revival of the river.
—Surendra Singhal