What am I looking for

  • Photo Exhibition

  • 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

Find the Schedule here →

Photo exhibition

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. 


  1. Anthony Acciavatti – Academic, Author, Ganga: Water Machine

  2. Avli Verma – Manthan Abhyayan Kendra, Pune

  3. Anoop Anjukunnu — Kerala University of Fisheries & Ocean Studies
  4. Ashish Kothari – Kalpavriksh, Pune

  5. Ashok Biswal – The Nature Conservancy, Bhopal

  6. Alyen Foning- Artist, Designer and Independent Researcher, Kalimpong
  7. Steve Lockett; Mahseer Trust, London 

  8. Dencin Rons Thampy: Mahseer Trust, Bengaluru 

  9. Prakash Sanjeevi: Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai

  10. Jason Gerard: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun

  11. Shruti Paripatyadar: Pune, Sunil C: Bengaluru

  12. Subrat Behera; Wildlife Trust of India, Bihar

  13. Yashas: Intern

  14. Raj Bhagat Palanichamy: World Resources Institute — India, Chennai

  15. Madhushri Mudke: ATREE, Bengaluru

  16. Gopakumar Menon: River Otter Conservancy, Bengaluru

  17. Sneha Dharwadkar: Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises of India; Oklahoma

  18. Nirmala Gowda: Paani.earth, Bengaluru

  19. Chanchal Singha Roy – National Awardee Teacher, Middle Andamans

  20. Chhaya Namchu — Climate Adaptation Researcher, Darjeeling

  21. Eklavya Prasad – Megh Pyne Abhiyan, Patna

  22. Siddharth Agarwal – Veditum India, Kolkata
  23. Shailaja Deshpande – Jeevatnadi, Pune

  24. Joy KJ – Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management, Pune

  25. Narender Pani — National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru

  26. Neha Bhadbhade – Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management, Pune

  27. Vidyadhar Atkore – Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology, Coimbatore

  28. Jayanta Bandhopadhyay — ORF, Kolkata

  29. Samir Sinha – Wildlife Trust of India, Noida

  30. Mansee Bal Bhargava – Educator, Ahmedabad

  31. Nandini Oza – Narmada Oral History, Pune
  32. Shristee Bajpai – Kalpavriksh, Pune

  33. Kewal Singh – Narmada Bachao Andolan, Barwani

  34. Rehmat — Narmada Bachao Andolan, Maharashtra

  35. Minket Lepcha – Storyteller of ancestral stories on nature, Darjeeling

  36. Linyam — Intern

  37. Simasanliu Abonmai — An enthusiast for a change through ethnopoetry, Arunachal

  38. Lal Thanmawii — Full time student, Mizoram

  39. Mayalmit lepcha- Environment and Social activist, Dzongu,Sikkim

  40. Sabyasachi Patra – CMS Vatavaran, Delhi

  41. Himashu Thakker — SANDRP, Delhi

  42. India Rivers Forum, Delhi

  43. Manju Vasudevan — River Resource Centre, Chalakudy

  44. Arati Bisth — Radio Henvalvaani, Chamba

  45. Nidhi Jamwal – Gaon Connection, Delhi

  46. Ravi Ghosai — Folktales, Uttarakhand