What am I looking for
River Diaries — Folklore and storytelling sessions
School Student based activities
College students-based activities
Talks, academic sessions and panel discussions
Hands on Workshops
All of the above
Covering the story of a river as told through images and installations, the photo exhibition is at the very heart of the event. The panels depict river basins through the eyes of individuals who collaborated with us from different parts of India.
Young students have presented narratives using an array of mobile and professional cameras and NGO professionals have warmly shared large repositories on conserving rivers. We have attempted to present unique stories – of different rivers and of civilisations that sprung around them.
In this narrative, we imagine the stories that nature embraces, ones that shed shallow impositions of individuality and separation, for the rivers, it is all connected.
This photo exhibition, in some sense, is a call for us to take a step back and live within stories of threats, culture, biodiversity, conflicts, and positivity.
We feel these transitions from stories of separation to hope are necessary for these stories give us something to hold on to and to look forward to, from within both despair and hope.
Talks, workshops, and panel discussions
A series of talks and workshops have been planned that invite practitioners, academics, students, and activists into a common forum. People from different backgrounds and affiliations come together not only to talk about life along rivers but also run workshops that are unique in their approach to addressing pressing issues.
There are talks on the experience of walking along rivers, on conflicts that plague our rivers, on the spiritual importance of rivers, on ancestral stories, on biodiversity and threats, on ongoing, past, and future community-based conservation stories, on the art of being an eco journalist and so on. The workshops build from the vision of the festival as we make an attempt to include rivers in all our discourses. Specific river days are also being planned with stories on the Cauvery and the Ganga. The eclectic mix of formal talks will go hand in hand with informal talks and folklore that celebrate rivers yet again.
Folktales explore the symbiotic relationship between humans and rivers. Bhatiyali Singers from Cooch-Behar district of West Bengal present narratives of boatmen and communities that live along the rivers in Bengal. Bhatiyali is a river song sung by boatmen going down the streams of the river. The word Bhatiyali comes from ‘bhata’ meaning ebb or downstream.
Bhatiyali folktales performances are envisioned to revive stories and lives of people around rivers in Bengal. Join us to go back in time and listen to tales found along riverbeds, love, and loss hidden in the description of boats, flowing waters and the lonely boatman, and many more stories sung by boatmen.
Baul Singers count Birbhum district of West Bengal as a cultural melting pot. The beauty of Baul is that many songs originate near the Ajay River in Bengal. They present the mystic narrative of Sufism and Vaishnavism and connect the flowing nature of the river with the human body, mind, and soul. Their poetry, music, and dance are devoted to finding humankind’s connection with nature. They are admired for their freedom from conventional ways of living and telling stories. Baul singers are bringing seven art forms like Bhadugaan on traditions of Bengal, Tusugaan on harvest season of Bengal to take us back in time and see the interconnectedness of rivers with humans in each and every aspect of their living and traditions.
Minket lepcha and a group of activists are coming from different northeastern states to share stories of communities living along rivers in Mizoram, Sikkim, Darjeeling Hills, and Arunachal Pradesh. Lepcha folk tales use stories to educate young generations on how to connect with rivers and nature. Their lyrical story narration forms provide experiential learning around rivers.
Along with these creative groups, we will be accompanied by a team of activists and singers narrating stories of Narmada Bachao Andolan. We will be listening to stories of the river and how folklore played a prominent part in the decades-long struggle. Jugalbandi sessions have been planned to celebrate the stories of rivers and their people across different parts of India.
Join us to enjoy the intertwining of the cultural association of people with rivers and celebrate the unique bond with water.
Schools, colleges and innumerable activities
Seeds of environmental awareness and sustainable lifestyle choices are effective when sown at a young age. They contribute to the development of responsible individuals. Yet, the disconnect that exists between the younger generation and rivers is real. How many students in urban cities are lucky enough to be residing or regularly visiting beautiful rivers? How many get a chance to observe and learn about riverine ecosystems, its interconnections, the impact of human interventions on these rivers?
Rivers of Life was conceptualised with high school children and college youth as the focus audience. Using knowledge-sharing exercises on rivers amongst urban children, we hope to create more awareness amongst the next generation of citizens.
Each day of the Rivers of Life exhibition will reach out to more than 300 school and college students. In addition, we will reach out to teachers through our Teacher Interaction workshops and encourage families to attend as well.
Anthony Acciavatti – Academic, Author, Ganga: Water Machine
Avli Verma – Manthan Abhyayan Kendra, Pune
- Anoop Anjukunnu — Kerala University of Fisheries & Ocean Studies
Ashish Kothari – Kalpavriksh, Pune
Ashok Biswal – The Nature Conservancy, Bhopal
- Alyen Foning- Artist, Designer and Independent Researcher, Kalimpong
Steve Lockett; Mahseer Trust, London
Dencin Rons Thampy: Mahseer Trust, Bengaluru
Prakash Sanjeevi: Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai
Jason Gerard: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun
Shruti Paripatyadar: Pune, Sunil C: Bengaluru
Subrat Behera; Wildlife Trust of India, Bihar
Raj Bhagat Palanichamy: World Resources Institute — India, Chennai
Madhushri Mudke: ATREE, Bengaluru
Gopakumar Menon: River Otter Conservancy, Bengaluru
Sneha Dharwadkar: Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises of India; Oklahoma
Nirmala Gowda: Paani.earth, Bengaluru
Chanchal Singha Roy – National Awardee Teacher, Middle Andamans
Chhaya Namchu — Climate Adaptation Researcher, Darjeeling
Eklavya Prasad – Megh Pyne Abhiyan, Patna
- Siddharth Agarwal – Veditum India, Kolkata
Shailaja Deshpande – Jeevatnadi, Pune
Joy KJ – Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management, Pune
Narender Pani — National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru
Neha Bhadbhade – Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management, Pune
Vidyadhar Atkore – Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology, Coimbatore
Jayanta Bandhopadhyay — ORF, Kolkata
Samir Sinha – Wildlife Trust of India, Noida
Mansee Bal Bhargava – Educator, Ahmedabad
- Nandini Oza – Narmada Oral History, Pune
Shristee Bajpai – Kalpavriksh, Pune
Kewal Singh – Narmada Bachao Andolan, Barwani
Rehmat — Narmada Bachao Andolan, Maharashtra
Minket Lepcha – Storyteller of ancestral stories on nature, Darjeeling
Linyam — Intern
Simasanliu Abonmai — An enthusiast for a change through ethnopoetry, Arunachal
Lal Thanmawii — Full time student, Mizoram
Mayalmit lepcha- Environment and Social activist, Dzongu,Sikkim
Sabyasachi Patra – CMS Vatavaran, Delhi
Himashu Thakker — SANDRP, Delhi
India Rivers Forum, Delhi
Manju Vasudevan — River Resource Centre, Chalakudy
Arati Bisth — Radio Henvalvaani, Chamba
Nidhi Jamwal – Gaon Connection, Delhi
Ravi Ghosai — Folktales, Uttarakhand