Prasana Dubey - TFT co-ordinator PDF Print E-mail

1. What is the importance of Narmada?

At present I am a TFT coordinator. It’s my privilege that I got to work in the villages around Amarkantak and I am working on this project from the last 4 years. I have born here only, so have seen people growing up, change in culture, and there are saints at the banks of Narmada here. These saints who are in Amarkantak, I have seen them since childhood so, and they just used to sit below the tree and used to recite. But these people, whatever they have done for the people and the Narmada, so today they are worshiped a lot. People here worship them a lot. My father came here as a accountant in Hindalco Ltd. in 1960. Hindalco has a plant in Renukurg. Boxite, the raw material is was supplied from here. Boxite Mining shutdown 10 years ago due to increase in pollution of The Narmada. As Blasting was used for mining, the plants used to get destroy. So due to this reason the Govt. of India did not extend the lease. So, now private companies do mining 40 KM away from here. Forty years ago, there was no proper road. The vegetables and rice used to come from the pendra station in horse carts. At that time, there were so many animals over here the in the night, lions and tiger would come and take away cow’s from here, in front of us and we could not do anything.

 

2. So the Tribal used to live here during that time?

The main people of Amarkantak are tribals. These people used to keep cow’s and there was abundant milk and no one to buy it. So they used to throw it in the Narmada. Then slowly people discovered this place. People started mining here. So the labor started coming here and road was made. Due to the road, people started to and fro movement. So then saints who before used to walk and come, now a day’s come in car’s. People liked this place so much that they settled over here and started many lodge and hotels and followers of the saints also came and settled over here.

Now if you go into the jungle, you will see that there are big-big trees but there are no small trees. And the people are cutting the big trees for their daily use. There is need of small trees or else the jungle will disappear and so the Narmada. Those trees are not there due to cross-fire.

Here in the local tribes marriages a pandal(tent) is built up. The whole pandla and the surroundings are decorated by green leaves and the branches (mainly the banana tree). At that time there was only jungle so they used to do everything in the marriage in accordance with the jungle and use everything from the jungle. So they still follow it today also, this also lead to reduction in trees. And the origin of narmada is not only due to the 5 ancient holes and Amarkantak is not only the origin of Narmada but 16 Rivers. There are three main river whose flow can be seen. The mountain of Amarkantak has flow of water on all sides and the volume of water is equal to as of Narmada and they are continuously flowing also. Some of the river flows after going ahead merges with the river soun and some with Narmada.

So those small streams of water were due to the jungle. Amarkantak being a mountain range the water collects down. And long trees have long roots and these roots also add some water to the River’s. For example the narmada kund has mountain range on either side’s and the mid region the Narmada. So the water collects here and the flow of river Narmada increases. And all the other water streams like rudhradhara, jambhudhara, durgadhara all of these have the same natural deisgn.

 According to me, what I have seen 30 years ago, when I was a kid, I feel that the volume is reducing day by day. I feel that the river Soun has almost diminished. Years ago the river soun used to flow iin the summers and now as you will see its now flowing at all. If this goes on then I feel that the river Narmada will also disappear. And any how due to some magic the narmada’s flow remain, it will be like a bark of the tree, very-very thin. Now a day’s forest personnel have see that the mountains which were dry 4 years ago are now fully green.

 

“You can learn a lot from a river; persistence and patience. In the beginning you go around an obstacle and over time you slowly break it down.”