August 2021, Representative’s stakeholders of Friends of Bagmati River gathered on the bank of Bagmati River to celebrate the Bagmati River Festival 2021-the festival of 21st century. The aim of this festival is to celebrate and conserve the scared River Bagmati, to raise awareness about the degraded condition of the Bagmati River and its tributaries within Kathmandu Valley, to raise the voice of change makers and locals for the conservation of rivers and to give pressure to the concerning government authorities to revive its original state. The festival was jointly organized by Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), Bagmati River Waterkeeper and Friends’ Club Kopundole with the support of many other organizations of Nepal.
The Bagmati River Festival was started since 2001 by NRCT with the initiation of its Founder President Mr. Megh Ale with the vision to see children and fish swimming together, and pilgrims taking a holy bath in the Bagmati. To achieve this vision every year the festival has been organized and make an effort to create a platform for all friends of River, Government and non-government organizations, social organizations, educational institute, private sectors, religious groups, pilgrims, children and all those who concern for Bagmati to work together to save this river. The NRCT has been focusing on the plight of the Bagmati River since the past 16th years which brings out conservation issues around rivers of Nepal through a yearly platform in the form of a festival where all concerned individuals and organizations are encouraged to participate and present solutions.
On this different scenario of COVID outbreak and Government protocols, this year’s BRF was conducted symbolic to the previous year events. Only activity of the day was the rafting in Bagmati River from Kupondol to Sundari Ghat. The event was inaugurated by religious gurus by pouring waters from twenty one rivers across the country into the Bagmati River itself. Representatives from Nepal Association of Rafting Agencies (NARA), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Friend’s club, High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization, Art of living, elected ward chairman, bagmati clean-up campaign and other personals were present on the event. Religious gurus highlighted the importance and significance of rivers according to their religious books.
This festival gave an opportunity to gather in the Bagmati River bank that helps to know and feel directly the condition of the Bagmati River and helps to increase the importance of the Bagmati River from all the stakeholders. All the participants committed for required action to clean and keep Bagmati River alive.