The Yatra demands Government to accord Living Entity status to River Cauvery
Mysuru: The Codava National Council (CNC) has demanded the government to accord Living Entity status to River Cauvery to protect it from further destruction. The CNC has begun a ‘Vehicle Jatha’ or ‘Cauvery Yatra’ from Talacauvery, the birthplace of River Cauvery in Kodagu, on May 24 and the jatha will reach Poompuhar in Tamil Nadu.
On reaching Mysuru yesterday, CNC President N.U. Nachappa and the Jatha participants addressed a press conference at Pathrakartara Bhavan and said that their intention was to get the Living Entity status for the river that has been ravaged over the years by indiscriminate development and pollution.
“River Cauvery is one among seven sacred rivers (Sapta Nadi) of Vedic period and they are Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Saraswathi, Narmada, Godavari and Cauvery. Sadly, the river has been destroyed and the precious water has limited flow now. Years back, the river was perennial and now, it flows in full only in seasons. Most parts of the river path are dry and arid. Thousands of Trees have been cut and several constructions have taken place,” Nachappa said.
He said that if Living Entity status is granted to River Cauvery, the river will be legally treated as “living people,” and as such, would enjoy “all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.” The status will enable the stakeholders to initiate all legal proceedings to protect the interest of the river. It makes it easier to take action against those who pollute the river.
For the first time in the world, a river in New Zealand, the Wanganui, was granted legal rights as a human being. It was a culmination of over a decade-long effort by the local Maori tribe. “The reason we have taken this approach is because we consider the River as an ancestor and always worshipped it,” he said.
“Unless the Governments, the concerned stakeholders and beneficiaries of Cauvery River from Talacauvery to Poompuhar take initiative to accord the river ‘living entity with the status of legal person,’ the river will die like River Saraswathi that disappeared centuries ago,” he said.
“We desire that River Cauvery should grow beyond its normal flow throughout the year during all seasons and people living on either sides of River Cauvery should flourish. It is our duty to preserve, respect, protect and use the river like a living monument,” Nachappa added.
The Jatha will cover the entire Cauvery Basin from Talacauvery to Mysuru, Mandya in Karnataka, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Tiruchirapalli, Tanjavoor, Srirangam and Poompuhar in Tamil Nadu where the river meets the sea.
Participants of the Jatha will perform pujas at five prominent ancient shrines on the banks of River Cauvery — Sri Ranganathaswamy, Brihadeeswara and Aiyarappar, Aadhi Kumbeshwara and Mayuranathan Temples. After covering Mysuru, the jatha proceeded towards Mandya.
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