Shri Manoj Misra was a prominent voice for the rejuvenation of India’s rivers
WWF-India mourns the loss of Shri Manoj Misra, a dedicated conservationist, an IFS Officer of 22 years, and former head of TRAFFIC’s India office during the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Shri Misra was also a leading voice towards the conservation, rejuvenation, and restoration of India’s rivers. – the Yamuna and the Ganga.
Shri Misra’s journey with the Yamuna started in 2007 when he founded the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan (YJA) — a movement aimed at rejuvenating the river. He formed the Nadi Mitra Mandli, a unique initiative to strengthen the connection between people and rivers. The Mandli is a network of riparian communities covering 1400 km of the Yamuna and Shri Misra empowered the communities with the tools and knowledge to assess the river's health and work towards enhancing its state. His work and perseverance have led to many iconic judgements and provided an impetus to the rejuvenation of the Yamuna. A nirmal and aviral Yamuna will be a fitting tribute to Misra’s exemplary work. He drew the blueprint that has inspired the work of countless individuals and organisations. He was also instrumental in setting up the India Rivers Forum (IRF), a community of individuals and organisations working for rivers across the nation. The IRF envisioned deepening the discourse on rivers and also identified and recognised outstanding Bhagirathan efforts for river rejuvenation in the country.
He authored several, conversation defining publications including "Rejuvenating Ganga — A Citizen’s Report" in 2019 and Wildlife India @ 50, capturing India’s 50-year-long wildlife journey through the eyes and experiences of a diverse set of authors who themselves played a part in it. His commentary on important issues like climate change provided valuable, alternate viewpoints, at a time when they were most needed.
Shri Misra was an exemplary, empathetic leader; his perseverance, presence and optimism will be missed.