Vidya Shah
age group: 
0-3 yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
rivers Narmada
picture book, non-fiction

Indian children may have read books or aricles about the Narmada Bachao Andolan and may well wonder, 'Why all this fuss? isn't getting water and electricity more important?' This book could provide them with the answers. The book traces the importance of the river from time immemorial. We learn that it is an important pilgrimage site and also its great significance. It is believed that whilst one attains salvation by bathing in the Ganga, one can attain it by merely seeing the Narmada!

The author takes the reader on a journey along the banks of the river, where one sees the beautiful ghats of Maheshwar, and visits the tribal communities, such as the Gond, Bhils, Rathwa and others. One learns of the religious significance attached to the river and also how much people depend on it for their livelihood. One gets a complete geographical perspective, too, right from the time it originates in Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, to when it empties its water in the Arabian Sea near Bharuch, Gujarat.

Chock-a-block with facts, this book is a gold mine of information on the river. However, in the eagerness for putting in as much of facts as possible, the read is somewhat jerky and at times the information also seems a bit dis-jointed.

The book has been illustrated by means of photographs, which aptly coveys a sense of authenticity.

All in all, a valuable addition to a school library.

Reviewed by Rifat Tejani