An awareness walk was organised on Sunday by KLoDB ( Knowing Loving Delhi Better) to raise awareness about the plight of Najafgarh Jheel. KLoDB is a Delhi based citizen led group which has been organising cultural and heritage walks for two and a half decades. Around 25 people from different walks of life attended this walk. People assembled at Dwarka Sector 12 Metro Station and after a round of introduction and a brief talk on the subject, they went to see the jheel.
Najafgarh jheel is a trans boundary lake straddling Gurugram and Delhi. As informed by the walkers and experts according to data it once measured over 220 sq kms but now measures a mere seven sq kms during monsoons.
As informed by the leader, Ritu Rao, who is a resident of Sector 18 Dwarka and a PhD research scholar at Teri School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi with interest in research in urban water bodies’ sustainability, the walk was organised to raise awareness about the jheel and mobilise the community to save the jheel. She said, “We have tried to raise awareness about the plight of the jheel by writing about it in social and print media and organising such walks. The notification and ecological restoration of the jheel will not only help in combating climate change impacts, sustaining biodiversity but also improving the well-being of the local community.”
People attending this walk visited Najafgarh Jheel where they were made aware of its importance and how due to ignorance and apathy, the jheel was on the verge of extinction. Ritu informed the people attending the walk that this jheel lies on the path of Central Asian Flyway and it’s a stop over site for many species of migratory birds. The jheel has so far recorded the presence of 281 bird species.
Zubair Idrisi from KLoDB said, “We have been doing social and environmental awareness walks for a long time and we have caring citizens who keep joining these walks in the past also. This walk was for Najafgarh jheel which has its own historical and environmental significance. We floated the message on our Facebook page and people from different parts of Delhi joined us for the walk. We would call this walk successful as we were able to achieve what he hoped to to spread the message of environment conservation by raising awareness about conservation and ecological restoration of Najafgarh jheel.”