The celebrations of the Kartini’s Day and Earth Day that are close together on 21 and 22 April mark the moment for Student Goes to River community, Environment Clinic and Disaster Mitigation of Faculty of Geography, Centre for Women’s Studies, as well as the Institute for Community Service to initiate a movement for women to care for river environment, called as Srikandi Sungai. In this movement, women, especially those living near the river basins are encouraged to be the driving force behind a clean river.
Many world civilisations emerged along rivers, such as those on the Nile, the Ganges, or Musi in Palembang (Sumatera). This showed the big role of the rivers for society. But on the other hand, settlement on river basins often means dirty slums. They also become flooded during the rainy season. The problem calls for the conservation of rivers, including the one through Srikandi Sungai.
“Srikandi is a symbol of a princess, a great heroine that resolves problems like Kartini, too,” said Vice-Rector for Research and Community Service UGM also initiator of Srikandi Sungai, Prof. Dr. Suratman, on Friday (22/4) at Faculty of Geography. He said a woman has a significant role in a nation’s development. On environment conservation, the woman’s character that likes beauty can be the power for women to make change and make environment prettier and cleaner.
On the Kartini and Earth Day, the student goes to river community will distribute seeds to SDN 1 Karanganyar elementary school and an area in Boyong river. The local community will later be responsible for the maintenance.
The project is to raise awareness on river area conservation. In the future, more projects will follow that involve women to ensure sustainability and maximise positive impacts.
“We also work with river communities and groups in each area. In the future we will do mentoring to jointly create a clean river environment,” said coordinator of lecturers from Faculty of Geography, Surani Hasanati, S.Si, M.Sc.