A highly-productive meeting was organized by the Government of West Bengal and UNICEF, in association with the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and many other NGOs who participated in making the Ganga Sagar Mela a uniquely different Clean and Green Mela.
The workshop shared the lessons learned from the Mela, as well as steps to go forward in the next year, areas which could be improved, and what could be shared/replicated in other melas and festivals across the nation.
GIWA India Executive Director and Chair, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, graced the occasion, saying, “Most melas today are a journey from faith to filth. This mela, however, was a journey where faith could be felt. This was a true example of a Mela with a Message, a message of cleanliness, of oneness and of the power of collective collaboration to be the change we wish to see in the world. I laud the Hon’ble DM, Shri PB Salim and his entire team, for their extraordinary efforts. He is a man with vision, mission and a man of action. It was his dedication and commitment that has led everyone to say ‘Salim ko Salaam’ for a successful Clean and Green Ganga Sagar Mela. May we have more leaders like him and may we take these learnings and apply them in the upcoming Ujjain Kumbha Mela to create the first ever Clean and Green Simhastha, inspiring and engaging millions across India.”
Hon’ble District Magistrate, Dr. PB Salim, shared a comprehensive presentation on the administration’s momentous efforts and summarized it by saying, “The Ganga Sagar Mela illustrates that cleanliness is an attitude that can be moulded”
Hon’ble Commissioner, Government of West Bengal, Mr. Sarkar said, “Faith in faith and faith in ourselves were the key to the first ever Clean and Green Ganga Sagar Mela”
Sue Coates, UNICEF India Chief of Water,Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), shared how it was so beautiful to see ideas, ambitions & resources come to life on the ground during the Ganga Sagar Mela. She invited all participants to reflect & celebrate their achievements as well as their learnings and apply it not only for a clean and green state but for the clean and green nation.
Caroline den Dulk, Chief Advocacy and Communication at UNICEF India, shared a beautiful presentation of the Team Swachh campaign that UNICEF is launching to bring sports and swachhta together to engage and inspire children to be sanitation ambassadors.
Mr. Asadur Rahman, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF West Bengal, said, “The unique gathering of all faiths cuts across the barriers of caste, creed, and religion and has set an example for others to follow.”
Several NGO Partners shared their findings and assessments of the mela. Their was a consensus that the Clean and Green Ganga Sagar Mela was a beautifully successful initiative which would inspire and engage so many others to apply this message.