PANAJI: The fate of Goa’s beloved Mhadei river, a lifeline for its people and ecosystems, is facing significant peril in wake of the ongoing attempts to divert water from its basin by a neighbouring state.
In response, the Earthivist Collective, in association with the Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG) and the Save Mhadei Save Goa Frontis calling on Mhadei’s children to become her Guardians (Rakhondar) by joining a community engagement festival called ‘Mhadei Amchi Mai’, a creative celebration of the intrinsic and critical relation between the river, the land and its people.
This festival aims to bring concerned people together to pray for the wellbeing of the river and to raise awareness of the importance of preserving its vital freshwater and biodiversity.
“On May 20, 2023 at 4.00PM a human prayer chain will be formed along the banks of the river, extending from the end of Miramar Beach to the Santa Monica jetty in Panaji, a distance of seven kms. This event will offer people from all over Goa an opportunity to come together and connect with the river, its history and its soul. The Earthivist Collective, GHAG and the Save Mhadei Save Goa Frontare calling on everyone across the State of Goa , their friends and their family to join in thisfestival and show their support for this vital ecosystem,” said Heta Pandit, historian, author, independent researcher and founding member of GHAG.
Nearly 7000 persons are expected to participate in the seven kms-long human chain, the organisers said. Attendees are urged to wear clothes with white and blue colour — representing the shades of the river — and carry ablue or white scarf along.
The organisers have also urged individuals from the creative community – musicians, dancers, creative story tellers, artists to join the creative celebration by performing along the human chain site.
Added interdisciplinary artist and curatorMiriam Koshy, founding member of the Earthivist Collective, “The Earthivist Collective’sintention is to bringtogether people from all talukas of Goa , citizen groups concerned about Mhadei ,along with people from all walks of life , especially those whose livelihoods would directly be impacted , to stand together as one voice.
To show their support for the festival, the Collective is also calling upon artists to create art interventions, in the form of paintings, poems, songs,installations, performances and sand drawings, that celebrate and pray for the river, during the human chain formation at Miramar Beach and the six other nodal points along the banks of Mandovi in Panaji.
Our appeal to those who may not be able to make it to the festival on the 20th, is that they stand together wherever they might be, along the banks of our beloved river and add to the collective energy “.