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Devotees at the Umananda Island temple site usually pollute the site with beverage bottles, plastic bags, and other plastic materials and leave them scattered which is a potential threat to the island ecosystem and its biodiversity. On the occasion of World Water Day 2019 Campaign, an NGO in Assam started a drive for a sustainable, eco-friendly, and plastic-free heritage site. The idea is to generate mass awareness and keep the heritage site as clean and eco-friendly as possible.

Umananda Island (Guwahati Assam) has a fragile type ecosystem. It is a river island in the Brahmaputra river. It comprises of vast biodiversity of natural flora and fauna. Rare species of Golden Langur (Trachypithecus geei) is found, which needs to be protected as well as conserved. This is one of the smallest river island and is also a historic and cultural landscape for eco-tourism.

Visitors visit the site to enjoy its beauty. Ignorant devotees leave them scattered which is a potential threat to the island ecosystem and its biodiversity. This results in waste generation on the island, especially, plastic waste which creates a huge challenge for Umananda organization and district administration for disposal. Ultimately, plastic waste drains into river Brahmaputra which creates vulnerability to Brahmaputra Dolphins as well as the other species.

NGO Voice of Environment is making the visitors and devotees leave their polluting habits. On this occasion of VoE started World Water Day 2019 Campaign to generate awareness in all visitors starting from Ferry Ghat at Uzan Bazar to the island. World Water Day 2019 Campaign is supported by Umananda Samiti, District administration, Kamrup Metro and Inland Water Services Government of Assam. Voice of Environment along with volunteers started campaign from Ferry Ghat at 10:30 AM on 24 March 2019, Sunday as more visitors were expected. Team started cleanliness drive along with interaction with visitors in Umanand. Team VoE included Environmentalist Moharana Choudhury, Kanhaiya Podder, Bharti Paul, Piyali Sarkar, Muskan Podder and other members of VoE.

A special message was shared with all visitors on the World Water Day 2019 Campaign. Kumar Deepak, Environment officer, UNDP spoke on the VoE initiative. He stressed to protect the Umananda ecosystem, its biodiversity which is not only a cultural emblem to the State of Assam but it is an unique natural architecture which defines the character of River Brahmaputra developing it into an eco-tourism destination.

VoE is working to create mass awareness and action for a better mitigation plan to avoid plastic as part of World Water Day 2019 Campaign. It wants to create a plastic free premise as well as sustainability for exploring healthy ecology for better ecosystem services. The World Water Day 2019 Campaign will continue with district administration and seek support of citizens for extending their hands for this cause together.

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