of children Wednesday formed a human chain along with residents on
the bank of a river in Odisha seeking right to play in safe water
Carrying placards and banners in support of their demands, the
children and their supporters created the human chain at Sambalpur
town, about 320 km from here, on a bank of Mahanadi, the state's
"The rivers and ponds are becoming polluting places as people are
dumping their garbage," Ranjan Panda, convenor of Water
Initiatives Odisha, a network of civil society organisations,
which organised the event, told IANS.
"The value of rivers and ponds is no more being recognized by
policy makers and the so-called educated communities," he said.
"We have launched a 'Clean Water Bodies Are Children's Rights'
movement, targeting at urban areas of the state initially. Later,
we want to take this up at national level in both urban and rural
areas," he said.
Depending on the experience the group will add on other issues
such as safe drinking water, sanitation and related rights and
needs of the children of the nation, he added.
"Water is a right to life and it has a right of its own to exist.
Unless we protect our surface water bodies from decaying and
dying, we will fail in our duties in many ways, including that of
providing a healthy childhood to all our children," Panda, who is
leading the campaign, said.