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raghavmt
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Posted - 17 April 2005 :  07:36:43
Braj Rakshak Dal on mission to revive Vrindavan's charm Kumar Vikram/ Vrindavan (Mathura)

The Pioneer: March 25, 2005 Delhi City Edition

Braj - The land of Lord Krishna - is under threat! Blame it on the callous approach of the Uttar Pradesh Government, the 5,000-year- old heritage of Braj is on the brink of ruin. Either it is forests or kundas (water tanks) or hills or ghats of Yamuna - all the four components of Brajbhoomi associated with Lord Krishna's raasleela are struggling to survive. Concerned over the continuous damage to environment, Brajvaasis are looking towards Nandlal, their lord, to save them. Thanks to the brave attempt of Braj Rakshak Dal, who want to restore the land to its original grandeur, the abode of Lord Krishna's romantic escapades will soon see a cultural renaissance. From restoring kunds to spreading awareness about deforestation and cleanliness, Braj Rakskak Dal is now preaching lessons to conserve the environment as part of religious discourses. Braj residents associate every part of their land to the eternal romance of Radha-Krishna. Every kund, forest and ghat of Yamuna has a variety of stories describing the significance of the land. But now, the age old heritage is just another part of history. Facts reveal that out of the 1,000 kund, almost 80 per cent are now filled with silt, their ghats have been destroyed. There is hardly any clean water in these kunds. Similarly, out of the 48 transcendental forests spread over thousands of acres of land area, only three still have their natural form. Rest are nothing more than barren land. The environment has become a victim to the nexus between local politicians and businessmen. Besides this several heritage hills in Braj bearing footprints of Krishna have been blasted out by the stone mafia of the state. Out of the 27 beautiful Yamuna ghats in Vrindavan, only one is left, where the river flows. At other ghats, the water has drifted away due to encroachments. In their bid to restore the old charm of the area, the Braj Rakshak Dal has renovated two of the tanks fully while the work to restore another 15 kunds is in progress. For this purpose detailed survey and listing of the kunds is being done. One of the forest, gahvarvan, has already been safeguarded. With the help of some industrialists, social organisations and MR Morarka Foundation, the Braj Rakshak Dal volunteers who are working under Shri Ramesh Baba and are determined to bring back the good old days of Braj. "Krishna is the closely associated with the nature as every part of Brajbhoomi is associated with the raasleela of the lord. Without saving the environment nothing is possible in the area and to restore all this is our first and foremost priority," said Vineet Narain, Convener of Braj Rakshak Dal. Now, with the restoring of these kunds and forests the Brajvaasis are hopeful that the old magic that the land had will soon be revived.

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