Guwahati, Sept 27: The World Rivers Day was celebrated by in the Karbi tribe village of Phumen Engti, Kohora, Karbi Anglong of Assam on September 25, where Langkiri SHG and Phumen Engti Natural Resource Management Committee hosted the event with support from the region’s premier biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak).
The World Rivers Day is celebrated across the globe every fourth Sunday in September with the goal of spreading awareness and encouraging people to protect and preserve rivers.
The event was celebrated with the traditional customs of the indigenous Karbi community related to rivers and streams. The Karbis believe that nature is God and all rivers, streams, living, non-living ones have souls protected by benevolent and malevolent deities.
Every year during the Rongker or Chojun (traditional festivals), the Karbi people offerings are always given to appease them and as a sign of respect and thanksgiving for protecting nature and surroundings. Karbis believe the ritual would bring good fortune, good health, and prosperity to the whole village as water is an important component for all life forms.
Three waterways running through the Phumen Engti village of Kohoraso, Kohorapi, and Langkiri were honoured in a prayer ceremony performed by local priests Prem Terang and Handeswar Engti.
Aaranyak has been working with a community-based Natural Resource Management programme in Karbi Anglong district with an aim to safeguard biodiversity and human well-being.
People worldwide are being affected by extreme weather conditions due to the human-induced climate change crisis. Anthropogenic disturbances substantially impact the rivers and its ecology, livelihoods and lives of the local communities who depend on this water source to avail drinking water, irrigation, and other necessary services.
Northeast India which has vital river ecosystems, is intricately connected to the lives and culture of the local people.