Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Grand Mahaweli River Of Sri Lanka: River Bank Cleaning Project For Raising Social Awareness

The Grand River Mahaweli is the longest river of Sri Lanka having the largest drainage basin in the country. In Sinhala, it means "Great Sandy River" and in Tamil, it means "Mahawali Ganga" and for Sri Lankan people the River is as holy and respected as the River Ganga. The River rises on the Western hilly region of the Island and flowing through the North it turns to the Eastern Region near Kandy, the place we were now about to visit!

River Mahaweli

Though we had already seen River Mahaweli on the night we arrived Kandy.

Can you guess how?
Well, its because the river itself flows beside Hotel Mahaweli Reach and you can just watch it from the garden side of the hotel's perimeter. Besides, if you wish, they have the facility to give you a boat-ride immediately!

River Mahaweli Flowing Beside Hotel Mahaweli Reach

But this time our expedition was going to be something different. This time we were up for a River Bank Cleaning Project! By the time we reached there, rain was comparatively tolerable. And I discovered that there was no straight road to the river bank rather we had to climb down from slippery and muddy slopes (which was comparatively higher than a usual slope!).

So the situation turned out that we were about to clean the garbage from the river bank, and it was raining already and as it was raining, every path that lead us to the river bank had become muddy and slippery and the river bank itself had become damp and filthier.

Beautiful Shore

Looking at everyone's hesitated and confusing condition Dan suggested that if anyone could deliver a boost- up speech!! Lucca started but I guess he was just too overwhelmed with the situation! Gazing upon me Dan asked me in a 'are-you-not-going-to-say-anything' tone "Anima?"

I laughed, "Well, boost-up speech for cleaning garbage?"
With two small jumps I recharged my energy level and spoke out "So.. Lets Get Dirty!"    

I had some horrible experiences during climbing up and down the way cause I almost slipped for 5 or 6 times. Probably it was for my shoes. It turned out real slippery after getting wet in the rain. My friends were too kind. They helped me every time I slipped and slide or got stuck in the wet sand.

River Bank Polluted With Dump and Garbage of Factories

Beside that, the river bank was astonishingly beautiful except for the horrible dump and garbage lying around the sandy shore. This condition clearly showed that how the people were unaware of the environment and how ignorant about the fact that it should be protected for their own sake. In Bangladesh, the scenario is quite the same except for the fact that we do not get enough space to spread awareness among people.

We collected handful of things in which majority were the dump of garment factories.

Though we really felt upset when it could be apparently seen that in spite of our great efforts, the river bank appeared the same, like we had not done anything! It would have taken a full week just to clean one side of the shore.

Collected Garbage

The Group with Garbage :P

However, I experienced one of the best moments of my entire Sri Lanka trip on that day, at the river bank.

I had never seen how a waterfall could be generated out of the middle of a river spontaneously flowing between big stones and crushing upon wild streams. Every splashing resonance of streams made me restless to get there and spend some moments beside the waterfall for at least once! I could not imagine how extra-ordinarily awesome it would feel to seat on a high stone in the middle of a wild river and that dazzling waterfall moving beside me like a dancing serpent and I would take a few long breathe.
It is said that, life is sum of moments, and in some very rare moments you feel absolutely free...

Beautiful Waterfall of River Mahaweli

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone." - Gorge Eliot 

I am grateful to Almighty that he has blessed me with such moments.

We were devastatingly tired, all of us. Having finished with our lunch with our new friends and local Active Citizens we came back to the hotel. For the first time I realized what was the significance of a hot shower, lying under fumed puffy bubbles and foams for hour..

It was something I cannot put into words.

 With every step, I made a new version of my thoughts, with every observation, I made up my mind more determined, and that is how it should be, that is why it must be.

(To be continued)