Why to walk with Godavari?

The venture of Goda Parikrama is based on walking along the Godavari in Nashik. But some may question – why to walk?

So, to answer this, I will begin by investigating ‘the act of walking.’ Walking can be perceived as an act of exploration, exercise, political protest, or discovery. Michel de Certeau, a French Scholar, suggests, “Walking and other spatial practices are individual modes of appropriation as opposed to collective modes of administration” (1984:96)*. Every voyeur or walker, based on their subjectivities or social positioning (like caste, class, gender, age, etc.), would embody different experience from a particular space.

Similarly, the primary aim of the ‘Goda Parikrama’ is to develop an individual connection with Godavari as well as to increase public participation in planning processes. Further, we aim to document and understand the multiple narratives/perceptions of Nashikkars towards Godavari. Thus, walking is a medium to understand the Godavari as well as to explore our outlook towards the river. Unless and until we know what Godavari means to us, we will not be able to reconnect with Godavari.

Fortunately, we are not alone, several groups around the world are walking with the rivers to understand them better. One such event is ‘Riverwalk’ (http://www.river-walk.eu/). It is an annual event where around 21 participants from diverging backgrounds select and walk a course of a wild river in Europe to raise awareness.

So, come join us on January 14, 2018 at 7:00 am near Dutondya Maruti, Godavari Ghats, Nashik to experience the heard and the unheard realities of the Godavari in Nashik.

 

*De Certeau, Michel. (1984). The practices of everyday life. Berkeley: University of California Press.

News Reporter
I am an architect turned anthropologist. After finishing my Masters in Anthropology from University of Pune, I was working with Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune under a project funded by UNICEF and Integrated Child Development Scheme, Government of Maharashtra. During which I was stationed in Nandurbar District of Maharashtra (which is predominantly a tribal region) as a Field Research officer. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India. My current research explores the interaction of the cultural-religious, the political-economic and the ecological dimensions of the river in Nashik city in Maharashtra. Broadly, investigating how the multiple perspectives of a natural resource overlap, contradict, challenge and support each other, thus shaping the urban landscape and producing socio-spatial inequalities.

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