The term ‘River Goddess’ is not myth. A goddess is one who nurtures, protects and sometimes ravages; the Narmada does the same.
The idea of following a river was given to us by a lady whose passion in life is reading and travelling. The more we read, the more fascinated we were. The more we spoke, the more excited we became. What started out as a lesson in geography, was soon developing into a sense of adventure, restlessness for travel and a pursuit of discovery. Our priority was no longer the destination but was the journey itself. There were many times when we doubted ourselves as a group, questioned the idea, questioned ourselves and our beliefs. Until we heard this..
Amarkanth se nikli O rewa jann jann kari rayo thaari sewa sewa se sab pawe mewa, aso ved puran batayo re”
“Maa Rewa” is by a band that call themselves the Indian Ocean. In its literal translation and meaning, the song is addressed to the Maa Rewa or Maa Narmada. It says that ‘the water of the river Narmada is extremely pure and flows constantly. Ever since You originated from Amarkantak, everyone has been worshipping You without exception. Every person who worships You, finds release from their troubles and this fact has been stated in the Puranas.’
In our travels, we covered a distance of over 1,400 kilometers and it was the most fulfilling journey of our life. It was challenging to complete this journey without talking about and mentioning the dam. Since the dam was a very sensitive topic, we decided to steer away from further discussion regarding this.
Now following any river is a journey of self-exploration, discovery and enlightenment. This website aims to make tangible and immortalize our journey. As an ongoing venture, our team will monitor this website regularly and try and quench the thirst of those that seek more.
There are moments that define a person’s life. Moments that can shape a character strongly enough to transform it. Moments of discovery, of realization, of truth, of reality. Moments of togetherness, of love, of solidarity, of oneness. Madhya Pradesh gave us these moments. And the credit extends to every person that helped create this experience for us.
Right from those that gave birth to the concept of the Discover India Project to those without whom the idea could never have been implemented. From those that silently supported us to those that continuously reassured us of their presence. From those that made us laugh and created some unforgettable memories to those that were always there while we cried because of the dead ends we faced.
Each person has contributed in shaping a young, enterprising 20 year old’s life. And the project would be incomplete without appreciating their effort.
We would like to thank Mr. Parag Shah, Chariman of FLAME and Prof. Indira Parekh President of FLAME. Their vision was the reason why the Discover India project was constituted and this foresight has now significantly impacted our lives. We would also like to thank the FLAME management for providing us with the financial aid for the field work.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the DIP committee, especially Prof. Vinay Hardikar and Prof. Nandita Wagle for their continuous support, motivation and guidance. Though we may have had several disagreements in the course of time, they were always there to push us forward. Prof. Cristina Furtado, for her help and suggestions with the analytical report gave us direction and made it easier for us.
Prof. Ashutosh Mishra, our mentor was a continuous support through out our research project. Prof. Shirisha Sathe, with her love for the river, added enthusiasm and important insights to improve the quality of our project.
Trying to find our ground in a new state in a limited amount of time, needs meticulous planning and logistical perfection – to be able to extract the maximum from the journey. Most of the credit for the comfort of our field work goes to Shri Sumeet Maheshwari of the Nav Bharat Times – he believed in our project and gave us access to the best resources in the various cities and towns that we hoped to visit.
The people of the newspaper helped us with accommodation, food and transport. Their presence enabled us to meet some important contributors to the Narmada Valley’s growth and character. Mr. Kamal Paliwal of Bhopal, Mr. Deewan of Hoshangabad, Mr. Gupta and Mr. Nilesh of Jabalpur, Mr, Rahul Panday, Mr. T.K Das and Mr. Prasanna Chaubey of Amarkantak and Mr. Pandey of Mandla guided us and helped us. They went out of their way and encouraged our purpose, motivating us further.
Along with the above, we would like to thank Mr. Lakhan Rai and Dr. Chourasiya for accompanying us to the tribal villages and making the interaction with them extremely fruitful.
We would also like to thank our Drivers Rajen and Yashwant for making our travel comfortable, safe and a whole lot of fun.