Sacred Groves in Mansarovar cleaned under the Eco-School Programme

Vrindavan, 29th January, 2014: Several trucks of the garbage were cleaned by the students of the Bhaktivedanta Gurukula & International School and Friends of Vrindavan from the Mansarovar shrine to convey a message to the visitors for not littering in the holy places. The students were very enthusiastic to clean around the lake of tears and inside the groves situated on its bank. They enjoyed watching the migratory birds and tortoise in the lake.
The students were led by their teacher Tribhanga Dasa, who explained the reason to organize the Dham Seva initiative at Mansarovar. He said that this place doesn’t have only religious importance, but is has the ecological significance too. “This is the only natural bird sanctuary which is very close to Vrindavan. Hundreds of migratory birds come here from distant places in winter. We need to keep the groves clean to facilitate their stay here,” said Jagannath Poddar from Friends of Vrindavan.
“On every Purnima (ful moon), a large number of visitors come to Mansarovar to pay their obeisance to Radha Rani. They organize bhandaras (religious feast) to make their visit memorable. While thousands of Rupees is spent on organizing the bhandaras, no one bothers about the huge amount of garbage, mainly the leaf-plates and plastic glasses generated after the feast. The organizers of feast could easily spend some amount for the garbage disposal, when they are spending such big amount for the feast,” said Acharya Naresh Narayan, a senior member of the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance. He added that the temple management shouldn’t allow the feast without proper arrangement of the garbage disposal. Acharya ji preached the students on how the Dham Seva helps in spiritual advancement as well as protecting the environment.
It should be noted that Friends of Vrindavan restored the Mansarovar Lake in the years between 1997 to 2000. FoV spent a substantial amount of money in restoring the kund and planting a large number of trees. After 15 years of non-maintenance by the shrine management, it has lost a number of trees, and tons of garbage can be seen accumulated in the groves surrounding the main temple. Recently, some agency tried to restore the lake by cleaning it and making the embankments. Though is clean but its original ‘swaroop’ has been compromised by dividing it in three portions. The embankments with stone are built around the middle portion, which separate the other portions with the main water body. Apparently the restoration work was stopped by the Chief priestess of the Shrine, but it was too late to keep the huge area of the lake intact.
FoV has sought an appointment with the Chief priestess to discuss the Garbage Disposal issues and reviving the Grove around the lake. It was also decided to organize the cleanliness drive in Mansarovar under the Eco School Programme in time to time.

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