Jeevitnadi Living River Foundation

A People’s Movement for Pune’s Rivers
Jeevitnadi Living River Foundation
Bishops School students getting to know their riverNiranjan Upasani, Jeevitnadi

Jeevitnadi is a Pune-based NGO that believes that river revival is possible only through active participation of the citizens. Its motto “My River, My Responsibility” is to get maximum citizens to connect to the river and be responsible for its health.

Jeevitnadi’s activities are all designed to bring people to the river, that being the first step in the process of river conservation.

Jeevitnadi’s activities are clubbed under the following heads: Muthai River Walk; Adopt a River Stretch; Toxin-free Lifestyle; Nature Walk; Muthai River Festival; Events by the River; Wetland Development, Nirmalya Management.

River Walk with school students under the banner "My River My Responsibility"
River Walk with school students under the banner "My River My Responsibility"Uma Khare, Jeevitnadi

Muthai River Walk

Explore the unexplored Mutha and its heritage

The Muthai River Walk started as a joint venture between Jeevitnadi and NGO Janwani, which conducted Pune heritage walks under the Virasat Pune platform.

The River Walk focuses on the ecological aspect of the river as well as its history. What it involves is a short stroll along a stretch of the river with the group, with a guide narrating history, spotting various landmarks and exploring what makes a river ecosystem.

Why the River Walk initiative?

Human beings always settled near an assured source of water – the Indus civilization on the Indus river bank, Egyptian civilization on the banks of the Nile river and Mesopotamia along the Tigris and Euphrates, to name a few. In fact, the word Mesopotamia itself means “between the rivers”.

Similarly, the city of Pune came into being in the cradle of the Mutha river. The Mutha was, and still is, the lifeline of Pune city. However, this relationship is not so obvious anymore. The person who goes to the river every day for water understands the vital role the river plays in our lives. However, when cities get their water from dams built upstream, this organic link with the river is lost. In day-to-day life, while crossing the bridge, even the existence of the river beneath is forgotten.

Along with challenges such as pollution, encroachments, insufficient environmental flows, our rivers suffer the most from this apathy. They represent a classic case of “tragedy of the commons”, i.e., everybody has a right over them, but none has any responsibility. That is why the garbage, heaps of plastic, rubble dumped on the banks and in the river channel, fails to make an impact on us. As long as we get clean water from the dams, we just don’t care that we are converting a beautiful river into a sewage and garbage carrier in the city.

Case studies all over the world point to the fact that rivers have got a new lease of life only through joint efforts of citizens and the government. Without people’s participation, no policy or law is sufficient to revive a river.

The Jeevitnadi team believes that a river walk would be a first step towards this objective. We look at this exercise as a way of bringing common people closer to the river and sensitize them about the river’s history, ecology, geography and its impact on our life. For us, this is an important instrument to create mass awareness about river issues and re-connect people to the river.

How old is the Mutha? Since when have humans been residing on its banks? How was the landscape before arrival of humans? How has this very river shaped the city of Pune as we see it today? That rock on the river, those temple ghaat ruins; everything has a story to tell.

The objective of this walk is to bring people closer to the river, generate awareness about the river and issues related to it. Around 5000 people of all ages and from all walks of life have attended this walk.

Let’s explore together this unexplored part of the city landscape - we promise you will walk away with memories of an interesting journey with the river through time. The River Walk is conducted on Sundays, for an hour and a half. An exception is made on request, for large groups, especially schools and colleges.

Local residents along the river getting to know its flora and fauna
Local residents along the river getting to know its flora and faunaMeghana Baphna, Friends of Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Adopt a River Stretch

Jeevitnadi’s first action-oriented project

The basic idea is to bring together “good intentions” in the community, back it up with solid ecological knowledge and guidance from experts and convert those good intentions into meaningful action towards river conservation.

Adopted stretches include, Mutha river at Vitthalwadi, Mula river at Rajiv Gandhi Bridge, Aundh, Ram-Mula confluence at Aundh.

Toxin-free Lifestyle

With advances in medical sciences, why are we not healthy? In spite of technological progress, why our rivers continue to be polluted? Ever wondered if there is any connection between river health and our health? Do you know rivers are mirror of city’s health and our health? Healthy Rivers means Healthy Us.

Nature Walk

On the lines of the Muthai River Walk, we offer a Nature Walk, at confluence of Mula-Ram rivers. It’s an amazing experience to discover a beautiful, dense forest right in the heart of Pune city.

Muthai River Festival

Muthai River Festival is a celebration of the river Mutha conducted every year on the occasion of India River Day.

Events by the River

Events by the River are for the River, By the Riverside - storytelling along the river, music programs, street-play, all these events bring people to the river. They help change perception towards the river and river-bed

Wetland Development, Nirmalya Management

Wetland Development initiative for the wetlands in the riverbed of Mutha and Mula-Ramnadi confluence region.

Nirmalya Management for the Vitthal temple on the bank of Mula.

A Toxin-free Living workshop being conducted by Niranjan Upasani of Jeevitnadi
A Toxin-free Living workshop being conducted by Niranjan Upasani of JeevitnadiMeghana Baphna, Friends of Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Little Ojasvi peering through the binoculars on a rocky bank of the river infested with water hyacinth
Little Ojasvi peering through the binoculars on a rocky bank of the river infested with water hyacinthMeghana Baphna, Friends of Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

For details: https://www.jeevitnadi.org/

Muthai River Walk +91 9822085639

Toxin-free Lifestyle: +91 9822391941

General Queries: +91 9623444108

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