Vaho Vishwamitri Abhiyan – VVA (Community Science Centre, Vadodara)

The Centre’s flagship Campaign - project aims to revive and rejuvenate the Vishwamitri River that runs through the city. The Campaign plan is to revive the 134 km long River, which is flowing from the foothills of Pavagadh Hills in central Gujarat towards the city and meets the Gulf of Khambat. The VVA is an effective model for the holistic development of Vishwamitri River Water to be implemented by stakeholder’s engagement mechanism. The Meetings, Advocacy Programs, Awareness Generation have resulted in designing a holistic development plan for reviving the River and conserving its biodiversity and thereby, the ecosystem through an appropriate Bio-shield designs. Such engagement will help address climate change at the community level, provide the basis for expanding action to other climate-related water management systems. The multi-stakeholder groups were able to convince Local Authorities to scrap the cemented River front on the River banks and implement instead a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation Plan.

The Demonstration of Seed Ball Technology is an important component of the Awareness Generation Campaign. Many intact ecosystems store large amounts of carbon, like natural forests and wetlands. Protecting the biodiversity is crucial to reach the goals of the Paris agreement. Restoring the ecosystem is also an important solution to further strengthen the capacity of nature to provide the range of goods and services. The holistic development demonstration model is in the process of mobilizing resources through various sources in the government and through the CSR funding opportunities.

The Abhiyan has generated momentum among citizens and government functionaries of Vadodara. The Campaign has been hailed by eminent personalities like late Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (who declared the project as a Model for River Rejuvenation), Sh. Sundarlal Bahuguna Dr R. Chidambaram, Sh. Rajendra Singh – the Waterman of India and many other eminent personalities. And the holistic development plan envisages cleaning and greening the city. The Centre is also the headquarters of the National Bio-shield Society. The Centre is thus on the threshold of sustainable development activities for various target audiences that are prescribed by UN-DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) Division for Sustainable Development (DSD). This Demonstration Model Demonstration project is aimed at reviving the biodiversity and encourages sustainable development along its banks for a Clean-n-Green Vadodara.