Objectives

Intent of the note The note tries to elucidate the concept, design and contours of ‘Namami Devi Narmade’ – a campaign conceived and coordinated by the Government of Madhya Pradesh as a people’s movement to protect the environment.

Executive summary The campaign will rivet around a 148 day journey from Amarkantak to Sondwa and back to Amarkantak by a core team of fifty persons. The yatra will be coordinated with workshops and public meetings that will bring into focus the activities like afforestation, sanitation, soil and water conservation, pollution control measures and promotion of organic farming. The campaign aspires to bring into focus the need to conserve our rivers to protect our lives.

Narmada is the largest river of Madhya Pradesh State. Narmada river has its origin at holy place called Amarkantak in Anuppur district, at the height of approx. 3467 ft. from sea level. Narmada flows from east to west and merges with the Arabian Sea near Surat city in Gujarat.

Narmada River is the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It is the fifth largest river of Indian subcontinent. Narmada in Sanskrit means “Giver of Pleasure”. To the Hindus the Narmada is one of the seven holy rivers of India; the other six being Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Sindhu and Kaveri. According to Hindu mythology, River Ganges acquired the form of a black cow and immersed in the holy water of river Narmada, to cleanse herself. There are several places of religious significance along Narmada such as Amarkantak, Maheshwar and Omkareshwar. Many people undertake a pilgrimage along the river, which is called the 'Narmada parikrama'.

Of late, the exploitation of the resources of the River Narmada has been a cause for concern, mostly with regards to prevention of pollution, conservation of the catchment of the river and sustainable use of the river and its resources. To highlight the importance of Narmada and its conservation the State Government has planned to coordinate an awareness campaign called 'Namami Devi Naramde.

  • To increase awareness about the need for conservation of river Narmada and sustainable use of its resources.
  • Plantation at the banks of river Narmada for protection of riparian zone and reduction in soil erosion.
  • To suggest remedial action in the field of river conservation and promotion of eco friendly agricultural practices.
  • To identify various sources of river pollution and to resolve the same through public awareness and participation.

Contours of the 'yatra:

  1. Duration: The 'yatra will begin on December 11, 2016 from Amarkantak(Anuppur District). It will come to an end on May 15, 2017 at the same location after covering both banks of the river.
  2. Core Group: A core group of fifty people will lead the 'yatra. The core group will comprise of experts in various fields such as river conservation, sanitation, agriculture, organic farming and forest and environment.
  3. The 'yatra: The 'yatra will be mainly afoot. The 'yatra would also involve organizing public meetings, seminars, plantation drives etc and focus on increasing awareness on sanitation, promotion of organic farming, reduction in pollution and conservation of the riparian zone of Narmada.
  4. The area to be covered: The Narmada River flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh for a distance 1,077 km approximately, covering 16 districts and 51 blocks from Amarkantak in Anuppur district to Sondawa in Alirajpur district.During the 148 days of 'yatra, about 600 villages/ 16 districts on the banks of the river Narmada will be covered. The group will travel to approximately 3000 kilometers during the whole journey.

  1. Publicity regarding the yatra will be done in advance by voluntary organizations at all locations to be covered in the route chart.
  2. To facilitate the participation, a website www.namamidevinarmade.mp.gov.in is being designed and developed. Social media will be used to augment the drive.
  3. The village meetings will be organized with the participation of the local people.
  4. The 'yatra' group will address the people on socio-cultural importance of Narmada, sources of pollution, means of conservation, focusing on sustainable agricultural practices. The group will also show documentaries/movies and distribute material related to conservation of river.
  5. The core group will also do symbolic activities focusing on afforestation, soil and water conservation, sanitation, promotion of organic farming and prevention of urban and rural garbage/solid waste with the participation of community.
  6. The core group members shall also note down problems and suggestions pertaining to the river conservation.
  7. The group members shall also provide information, of the steps taken by the government for conservation of Narmada, to the people of village/place.
  8. Cultural activities will be done to build awareness about the conservation of the holy river with the participation of local artists.
  9. Twenty six government departments have been identified to do their activities during the 'yatra'.
  10. After completing the activities in the village/place, the core group shall move to other village/place as selected in the route chart and carry out the same activities. the core group wills halt for the night in pre-identified place.
  11. Honorable Chief Minister will participate every week in the 'yatra'.

  1. Through the 'yatra' atleast 600 villages/places in the complete stretch of the river will be visited.
  2. At least 03-04 lakh people will be contacted and be made aware of river conservation.
  3. Propagation of government initiatives for Narmada river conservation.
  4. Organic farming shall be adopted by more people.
  5. Plantation in riparian and catchment areas of River Narmada will increase.
  6. People will become more alert and assertive toward any cause of pollution in River Narmada.
  7. Major causes of river pollution will be identified and the community will become aware and start taking corrective steps.