SUSTAINABLE LIFETYLES AND EDUCATION
BACKGROUND & RATIONALE
One of the flagship programs of Swechha, and also one of the most celebrated ones, Yamuna Yatra is a 12 day’s journey, from Yamunotri to Agra, tracking River Yamuna from where it originates and is pristine, down to the point where it reaches Agra and is almost a toxic body of water. The aim is to showcase the extent of pollution caused by humans to the river body and inspire change.
This 12-day journey-based camp is a mix of environmental learning, fun and adventure and a holistic understanding of modern-day civilization, and the nuances of industrialization and sustainability. This 1000-kilometre journey includes Interacting with the River (camping on the riverside), as well as the communities around it, policymakers, religious institutions, market forces and others. During the walk, we trace the journey of Yamuna through the city and the impact we as citizens have on the river. For years, young adolescents who have been part of such Yamuna Yatra have developed successful campaigns and even led/ participated in Shramdaan action events at the banks of the river to rid the Yamuna of tonnes of waste that impact its water quality and flow.
The Yatra serves as an eye-opener for children from urban spaces on the river’s effect on our lives and vice versa and helps them connect theoretical knowledge about the river with the lived experiences of people who live along the river. It is a life-changing experience for most young people as it helps them question and stretch beyond their comfort zones while connecting with a larger world.
Since 2004, we have conducted over 30 Yamuna Yatras, with over 2000 young leaders, covering 1800 training sessions, and 30,000 kms ! Done in partnership with Vasant Valley School, Pathways World School, The American Embassy, British Council and The European Union. The Vasant Valley School has acknowledged the effectiveness of a travel based learning program like the Yamuna Yatra and has made it a part of their annual curriculum for Grade XI.
We are always looking for young and enthusiastic minds that can help us create the change along with being the change. Whatever your passion, we always have opportunities for you along with endless cups of Chai!
SOME OF OUR
“My eyes were opened because of the yatra. For the last 10 days i have come to understand so much about myself, my stands, connect with my class mates. And also understand how much we have mistreated our rivers. How can we revere something so much and then pollute it so?.”
11th Grade Student, Vasant Valley School
“Every young person should undergo such a program, like the Yamuna Yatra. It really helps them understand the challenge that exists before them as young citizens, to invest and take care of a world where they will be leaders. I highly recommend this experience to everyone“
Teacher, Vasant Valley School
“This has opened my eyes to the damage we have caused and the responsibility we have.”
Student, Pathways World School