Karimnagar: Rivers are a source of life and their protection should be given top priority, BJP leader Uma Bharti said on Wednesday. "Rivers give us life and their protection is our prime responsibility," she said.
Bharti was addressing the media before taking part in a 'maha aarti' on the banks of the Godavari river, nearly 60 km from in Karimnagar in Dharmapuri temple town, on the occasion of 'Karthik Poornima'.
"We have a rich culture and heritage, but they have degraded in the recent times. It is the responsibility of all Indians to protect our historic culture and heritage." Like the Ganga and the Yamuna, the Godavari has its own originality and speciality, Bharti said.
The BJP leader completed the first part of her 'Ganga Samagra Yatra' in October. The yatra, covering a distance of 2,500km in five states, started from Ganga Sagar, the place in Bay of Bengal where the holy river meets the sea, on September 21 and ended at Gangotri, Uttarakhand, on October 28.
The leg of the yatra, aimed at making the Ganga pollution-free, will start next month. BJP National General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao and other party leaders accompanied Bharti.
Meanwhile, thousands of devotees took a holy dip in river Godavari in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on the auspicious occasion of 'Karthik Poornima' on Wednesday. Serpentine queues were seen in temples at Samarlakota, Draksharama and Bhimavaram, among other places, since early on Wednesday.
Special poojas and rituals were performed for the Lord Shiva on the occasion. Discourses, cultural programmes were arranged in the temples. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operated special buses for devetees. 'Aartis' were organsied on the banks of Godavari, Krishna and Thungabhadra rivers.