Azim Premji University will unveil ‘Rivers of Life – A Journey through India’s Rivers’, on 2 November a celebration of nature as seen through the country’s myriad rivers, its cultural influences, role in livelihood, vibrant biodiversity, and the people behind its conservation.
To be held at the Bengaluru campus of the University, the festival will feature an evocative photo exhibition and will see participation from folk singers, conservationists, academicians, and storytellers who will share their unique experiences around diverse river landscapes.
‘Rivers of Life’ is the first in a series of initiatives Azim Premji University plans to launch to shine a light on our relationship with nature and mounting environmental concerns demanding immediate attention.
“Our attempt is to weave together the stories of people and movements who have come together to conserve our rivers. We believe this event would provide a unique opportunity for students and the public to understand better our symbiotic relationship with rivers and the urgent need to protect these lifelines from further degradation,” said Harini Nagendra, Director, Research Centre and Lead, Centre for Climate Change, Azim Premji University.
The exhibition, a visual retelling of the story of Indian rivers -- one of hope and despair -- is an outcome of the efforts of young volunteers and non-government organisations who traversed across the country to document over 70 river systems capturing both the pristine beauty and the relentless onslaught these have come under, reducing many to a trickle.
The programme will draw to a close on 16 November and will see various events each day across venues at the University. This will include folktale performances by Bhatiyali singers from the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, lilting music of Baul artists, a film festival centred on life by the riverside, and river-based fun activities. Also, leading experts and academics will hold multiple interactive workshops for students and teachers on topics ranging from conservation and river ecosystems to community engagement.