Save Nambul River mission : Cry of a dying river

Let the rivers flow freely. This was the unstated, untommed but core message in the ‘Save Nambul’ one day campaign jointly organised by the media fraternity of the State under the aegis of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change on July 2. Two extremely important agencies joining hands to ring out the message that the Nambul River which flows through the heart of Imphal needs to be saved. One dealing with environment and the impact that climate change has had on the eco-system of the land and the other covering events, news, sensitising the people and waking them up to the reality of the day and one could not have asked for a better combination. One only hopes that the mission is not reduced to a one day boat ride on the river and that each and every media house in Manipur take the responsibility of highlighting the need to save the Nambul River, without which the identity of Manipur and the people would be incomplete. The Save Nambul campaign also could not have come at a more opportune moment, coming as it did one day ahead of the Plastic Bag Free Day. Central to Save Nambul and Plastic bag Free Day is the need to save the environment and the first step towards this should be to say no to plastic carry bags which have clogged water ways including the Nambul River. A look at the river on any day should tell the story of how plastic carry bags or polythene bags have slowly but surely choked the natural flow of the river and turned it ugly with nothing pristine about it being a water way linked to the history of the land and the people.
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change have started on the right note, and one only hopes that the campaign is not reduced to a one day exercise. Educate the people on the need to save the river, remind the people of the close affinity between the people and Nambul River and how it used to be a waterway closely connected to the daily economic activity of the people as well as a route for closer assimilation between people living in different parts of the State. It is with a matter of pride and contentment that The Sangai Express is happy to remind the readers that for over two years, that is from September 17, 2017 to November 2019, the English version of the paper carried a weekly poem every Sunday penned by Professor Kshetri Rajendra Singh of the Department of Sociology of Manipur University which talked about the drastic impact of man’s vagaries on Nambul River under the aptly titled poem ‘Cry of a Dying River.’ The Dying River ran into 100 poems and rounded up with a nostalgic epilogue on November 10, 2019. It was with a reason why the Nambul River was likened to a dying river and it is to save the river from death that AMWJU and the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change undertook the, ‘Save Nambul’ campaign on July 2. Just how much human vagaries have impacted on Nambul River may perhaps be known by just a cursory look at its present stage and back in March or February before the whole city was shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Compare the state of the river in Imphal back then and now and one will get an idea of the point that is being sought to be made here.