Hundreds of ascetics march to save Yamuna
Mathura: Hundreds of sadhus (ascetics) and Lord Krishna devotees from Mathura have left for Allahabad to begin their long march to New Delhi against pollution in the Yamuna river.
The sadhus of Braj Mandal -- Mathura, Vrindavan, Goverdhan and Barsana -- will begin the march from Sangam in Allahabad to the national capital on March 2.
The "padyatra (footmarch) along the Yamuna bank will pass through villages and small towns and will be joined by thousands of saints from all over India," according to Radha Krishan Shastri, acting chairman of Man Mandir in Mathura's Barsana area.
The march is being led by 82-year-old Ramesh Baba, who has been fighting the illegal mining mafia on Rajasthan's border for the past 46 years.
Ramesh Baba said this was by far the biggest offensive launched against pollution in Yamuna river. "It will be a long drawn out battle joined by students, farmers, saints and environmentalists from all over," he said.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union, led by Bhanu Pratap Singh, has assured that "thousands of farmers would join the march". He asked why can't a river cleaning programme be funded by the government.
In Lucknow, more than 10,000 farmers will clean up the river March 1, he added.
The demonstrators will organise a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.