India, October 19, 2023 – Shipra Pathak, widely known as the “Water Woman” and the visionary behind the Panchatatva Foundation, has achieved an unprecedented milestone by embarking on a 1001-kilometer journey on foot. Her remarkable pilgrimage, spanning 31 days, took her from Peelibheet in Uttar Pradesh to the spiritual city of Kashi Varanasi, marking the first-ever Gomti river pilgrimage in India.
This expedition was far more than just a challenging trek; it was a profound quest undertaken entirely through alms. Shipra’s mission was clear: to gain insight into the condition of the riverbank, witness the trials faced by the sacred River Gomati, and actively contribute to its revival and preservation.
Commencing on March 1st, her route traversed through 15 districts, including Pilibhit, Shajahanpur, Hardoi, Sitapur, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Amethi, Pratapgadh, Ayodhya, Jaunpur, and Varanasi. Along the way, Shipra engaged in daily interactions with the local residents, covering distances of 30 to 35 kilometers each day along the riverbank. This enabled her to experience the diverse landscapes and communities along the Gomti’s banks.
The primary objective of this pioneering river pilgrimage was to assess the state of the river’s banks, which had suffered encroachments and neglect over time. Shipra was resolute in her commitment to bring about positive change and raise awareness about the critical importance of preserving our rivers.
Upon completing her journey, Shipra Pathak wasted no time and initiated a campaign to reclaim the River Gomati from encroachments. She collaborated with local authorities and mobilized the support of the communities she had encountered during her pilgrimage. The campaign’s aim was to restore the river’s natural flow and ensure it could once again flourish as a lifeline for the region’s people.
What sets Shipra’s pilgrimage apart is not just the extraordinary feat of walking 1001 kilometers but also the profound impact it has had on the Panchatatva Foundation and the communities involved. Over a hundred thousand individuals have joined the foundation as a direct result of Shipra’s journey, actively participating in initiatives to plant trees and vegetation along the Gomati’s banks, contributing to its rejuvenation.
Shipra’s dedication to environmental conservation and river restoration extends beyond the Gomati Yatra. Prior to this epic journey, she embarked on a 3600-kilometer pilgrimage to the sacred Kailash Mansarovar and initiated a mission to safeguard the Narmada River. Her unwavering commitment to protect India’s invaluable water bodies and raise awareness about their ecological significance is evident.
The Gomati Yatra, led by Water Woman Shipra, serves as an inspiring example of how one individual’s determination can ignite a movement, emphasizing the power of grassroots efforts in addressing pressing environmental concerns and instilling a sense of responsibility in communities along the riverbanks.
The significance of river pilgrimages reaches far beyond the immediate impact on a single river. They catalyze nationwide conversations about the imperative need to conserve and protect our water bodies. India, a country deeply intertwined with its rivers in its rich cultural heritage, stands to gain immensely from initiatives like the Gomati Yatra.
The success of Water Woman Shipra’s journey is not only in the physical and logistical challenges she surmounted but also in the emotional and cultural connections she formed with the people she encountered. Her story serves as a reminder that when individuals unite for a common cause, transformative change becomes attainable.
In conclusion, Shipra Pathak’s 1001-kilometer river pilgrimage from Peelibheet to Kashi Varanasi is a momentous step toward environmental conservation and river restoration in India. Her dedication, coupled with the support of the multitude who have rallied behind her cause, stands as a beacon of hope for the protection of our rivers. Her historic achievement underscores the importance of safeguarding these natural treasures that have been integral to India’s identity for centuries. Shipra Pathak’s journey exemplifies the profound impact that one person’s vision can have in inspiring substantial change.