The Yamuna Yatra is a 12-day journey along the banks of the River Yamuna, exploring the ecological, social,cultural, mystical, spiritual and political facets of the river. During the journey, the participants or the ‘yatris’ will learn about the ecology of the Yamuna, the implications of policies and government programs on the river and the consequences of rapid urbanization and water consumption patterns.
The yatris will be able to draw parallels between specific issues concerning the Yamuna to those that affect other rivers in India and water bodies internationally. The Yatra is not only an opportunity to learn more about the river, but also to learn about the communities that depend and survive on the river. The Yamuna has become the metaphor of socio-politico-economic damages to things of religious and ecological reverence, in this era of globalization.
The trip will start on 19 March and end on 30 March 2008. Participants are advised to reach New Delhi by the evening of the 18th. The Yatra traces the river from its source in Yamunotri in the Himalayas through many towns in Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. The Yatra covers a distance of nearly 1000 km and concludes in Agra. The Yatra will be visiting pilgrimage sites, villages and many places of religious importance.
Elements of the Yatra
Yatris will engage in a variety of interactive activities to complement and nurture their learning and experience along
the journey including:
• Treks, hikes, walks, swims…
• Workshops on Culture, Ecology, Identity
• Village Assessment Studies
• Circus Performances - learn a trick or two from the Dreamtime Circus while they travel with us
• Film Screenings
• Concerts by the river
• Interactions with communities along the banks-many of which are ancient hill tribes
• Environmental Audits and Action Projects
• Yoga, meditation, dips in the pristine river
• Camping, Cook-Your-Own-Meal
• Endless folklore and tales told by the locals
About Swechha – We for Change Foundation
Swechha is a Delhi-based non-governmental organization that was launched in the year 2000 as the “We for Yamuna” campaign. Within months, “We for Yamuna” shaped up as one of the strongest voices on Yamuna in Delhi. The campaign eventually transformed into a full-fledged NGO. The organization today covers a wide gambit of work, spanning over ecological, civic and policy level issues-striving to build awareness and advocacy among students, civil society groups, corporate and the media. Swechha had been given space in the UNDP office in India to function from in its first six years, and the UNDP still remains one of our key partners. The organization is one of the 6 from around the world that has been short listed and profiled on CNN Be the Change this year. (For more information, please visit www.cnn.com/bethechange). We organized an Integrated Yamuna Yatra in 2006 funded by the American Embassy- this Yatra included differently-abled and economically backward children as part of the journey of learning. Again, in 2007, Swechha
organized the EU-funded Youth Yatra for 24 youth leaders from 4 different countries. The event was managed by the British Council. (You can catch glimpses of the Youth Yatra at www.youthyatra.in).
How to Apply
You are required to send the following documents via email:
1. A Statement of Purpose- explaining why you want to come for the Yamuna Yatra 2008.
2. Your latest Curriculum Vitae
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please write ‘Application for Yamuna Yatra 2008’ in the subject column). For further information, you can call us at 00-91-11-26671758 or visit our website (www.swfc.org.in). We will inform you about the subsequent application details after we receive your mail and documents. Last day for receiving applications is: 23 February 2008. The Yatra is open to people of all backgrounds regardless of age,race, country or affiliation.
Total Cost is Rs. 15,000/ per participant (for Indian Nationals) and $ 600 (or equivalent) for Foreign Nationals. This price includes transportation, accommodation and food during the Yamuna Yatra. If you require financial aid, indicate so in the application. Please note that we do not have any funding for this programme and participants will have to take care of their air/train travel to New Delhi and back. However, we will continue with our efforts of seeking grants and donations and will notify the participants accordingly.
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