Muthai River Walk is the joint venture of Jeevitnadi and Janwani. It is borrowed from the concept of Heritage Walk by Janwani, under Virasat Pune Platform.
What distinguishes it from Heritage walk though is the fact that this walk focusses on ecological aspect of the river along with the historical. What it involves is a short stroll along a stretch of the river with the group, with 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. Indus civilization on the Indus river bank, Egyptian civilization on the banks of Nile and Mesopotamian along Tigris and Euphrates, to name a few. In fact, the word Mesopotamia itself means “between the rivers”.
Similarly, city of Pune came into being in the cradle of Mutha river. Mutha was and still is the lifeline of Pune city. Only now this relationship is not so obvious. The person going to river every day for water understands what a vital role river plays in his/her life. However, for the cities getting water from the dams 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 the challenges like 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 right over them, but none has responsibility. That’s why, the garbage, heaps of plastic, rubble dumped on the banks and in the river channel, fail to make an impact on us. As long as we get clean water from the dams, we simply 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 same 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.
Jeevitnadi team believes that 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 & its impact on our life. For us, this is one of the important instruments to create mass awareness about river issues and re-connect people to the river.
How old Is Mutha? Since when humans are residing on its bank? How was this landscape before arrival of Humans? How this very river shaped the Pune city as we see it today?
That rock on the river, those temple ghaat ruins; everything has a story to tell. Let’s explore together this unexplored part of the city landscape.
We ask for one and half hour of your Sunday morning, and in return we promise you will walk away with a brochure and memories of an interesting journey with river through time.