Wetland Development At Vitthalwadi
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Through ‘Adopt a Stretch’ project at Vitthalwadi, we have been getting closer to the river for more than a year now.First few months, it was nothing but cleaning! Overwhelming garbage of literally all possible kind was getting dumped in the river banks and river bed. So, could not think of anything else. But, once you make the river your own responsibility just like your home, cleaning will not be enough.Back of our minds, we all knew that we need to do something more. It was important to change the urban perception towards the river. It’s not a garbage dumping site but it’s our native land, it’s our place to recreate, it’s our place to rejoice, it’s our place to rejuvenate. With that motive, we started thinking how my river will be welcoming to all its citizen. We must celebrate our river. We ideated and did “storytelling session”, “Kirtan (traditional socio-devotional musical event)” and other celebrations. With the same motive, we started looking at our adopted stretch more affectionately to understand its beauty and also its pain. There are many wetland formations in the adopted river stretch at Vitthalwadi. Due to urban interventions such as drainage leaks and so called developments, they are subdued to mere stinky waterlogs. Thanks to our ecologist experts, we learnt how these wetlands are integral part of the river ecosystem. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. (Reference: Wikipedia) We decided to give it a go and convert those stinking places, home to mosquitos into a beautiful phenomenon which will be naturally purifying the drainage mixed water before reaching to the river stream and at the same time a welcoming site for its visitors. With this motive and thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers and experts such as Lemnion Green Solutions Pvt Ltd, we chalked out a six week program to beautify the first wetland at Vitthalwadi.We took all care not to disturb the natural integrity of the wetland, but helped it to sustain by shaping, sizing and streamlining it. The team sweated, panted cheerfully without looking at the risks of it getting thrashed by urban cleaners.After six weeks, what we are left with is the most fulfilling sentiment and confidence to embark on to the next wetland beautification. Growing duckweed and water striders which are integral part of a healthy wetland formation are assuring us that we are on the right track. Join us if you wish to part of the enriching experience. Let’s make our river banks a welcoming place for our next generations.