Noted environmentalist and 'Chipko movement' leader Sunderlal Bahuguna has brought the 'Save Himalaya, Save Water, Save Life' movement to the North East Indian states located in the lesser Himalayan region.
Launching the campaign in Guwahati, the gateway to the North East, the veteran environmentalist on Monday warned in Guwahati that the next World War, if fought, would be fought over no other resources but water, which is getting scarcer especially in dry seasons due to global climate change.
"The Himalayas is the main source of water in the country and we have to save the ecology of Himalayas first save ourselves," he said, adding that the Himalayas should be the focal point to build mutual trust among neighbouring countries to save it and its water and other lives.
According to Kishore Upadhyay, the convenor of 'Save Himalaya, Save Water, Save Life' movement, the snowfall patterns were drastically altered and the glaciers are melting due to impact of global warming in the Himalayan region. He warned that the melting of glaciers is faster than previously thought and consequently there would be more frequent droughts and floods.
The alarming situation has prompted a delegation of eminent citizens led by Bahuguna to under take a campaign to sensitise people of the fragile ecology of Himalayan region and the need to protect it.
The delegation is travelling to all Himalayan states in India and neighbouring countries to hold consultation with governments, eminent citizens, media, civil society groups in an attempt to invoke environmental awareness and consolidate opinions on the need to push for specific development policies for the region in view of increasing threats to eco-system, lives and livelihoods.
The campaign that started in Jammu and Kashmir on September 30 is now headed to North East Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland.The campaign leaders especially encourage women to be in the forefront of the awareness drive to save the Himalayas given the track records of women in all other environment movements in the country.