Yesterday Bangladesh observed the World Rivers Days, the day celebrated in dozens of countries across the world, highlighting the values of rivers and striving to increase public awareness about the need for better care for our water resources. However, the poor condition of our rivers suggests that we hardly cherish the true essence of the day. A front-page picture of this daily yesterday revealed that toxic effluents are still being released into the Turag River in Mirpur area, polluting its water and threatening its living things. The Turag is not an exception; rather all the rivers are going through the same crisis, flowing perilously amid the risk of being polluted and grabbed.
The country was once blessed with hundreds of rivers that used to have an influence on every aspect of our life— from agriculture, communication to business, lifestyle to culture and tradition. But gone are those days. Rivers are now fighting for survival owing to the ignorance, negligence and greediness of people. Our apathy towards the rivers is nothing but ingratitude as we are contributing all ways to dry up the rivers creating plenty of offerings for ourselves. Already, many of our rivers have dried up, keeping no sign of their previous existence and many are waiting to face the same fate. However, neither we take steps to save them, nor do we consider its probable consequences.
There is little time to prolong our current approach towards rivers. For that, we must acknowledge that World Rivers Day is not an occasion to be celebrated on a fixed date while measures to save the rivers are to be taken some time in the future. Rather, it is the day to be motivated to work harder to save our rivers without delay. We expect that the authorities concerned will realise the true essence of the day and work round the year to keep rivers alive.