Eminent environmentalists, scientists, revered spiritual-religious leaders, dedicated members of civil society and esteemed members of administration came together in a conference organized by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Ganga Action Parivar, in collaboration with Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance-India, for a highly-informative Ganga Gyan Dhara conference.
The prime objective was to bring together all stakeholder, especially from Uttarakhand, to seek their inputs on pertinent issues related to the conservation and restoration of the sacred River Ganga and to work out an action and participation plan to sensitize, engage and involve local communities and mobilize stakeholders. The event endeavored to identify the major gaps in Ganga restoration and come up with a way forward to address these issues.
The event was initiated, led, guided and blessed by GIWA Co-Chair H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, and was attended by numerous leaders, dignitaries, scientists and others, including:
- Central Committee Member of Namami Gange, Senior BJP leader and member of the National Party Executive, Former Cabinet Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji
- Indian Institute of Public Administration, Prof. Vinod Sharmaji
- Former Chairman of CPCB and Adviser to IIPA, Shri Paritosh Tyagiji
- Convenor of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, Shri Manoj Mishraji
- Former Expert Member at the National Green Tribunal, Dr. GK Pandeyji
- Chairman of Vrindavan, Shri Mukesh Guatum
- Chairman of Mathura
- As well as many other NGOs and activists from Uttarakashi, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag and many other districts of Uttarakhand
Pujya Swamiji urged participants: “Let us share our information and knowledge with the masses and inspire them into action. Let us serve together to protect a lifeline for millions and a source of inspiration for billions. Let us work as one family, as one Ganga Parivar, as one team with one theme to serve our Mother Ganga and ensure that She flows free and pristine for this generation and many generations to come.”
Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji said, “Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, initiative of Namami Gange has illustrated to the whole nation that cleaning and restoring the River Ganga and Her tributaries is of vital national importance. The Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry has submitted a detailed and comprehensive plan for cleaning the River Ganga and now its just our job to inspire everyone to get connected to this mission and do our part.”
Shri Paritosh Tyagiji said, “Its great that we have declared Mother Ganga our National River but without legislation to protect the National River we will never be able to maintain and sustain its cleanliness and purity. I strongly believe that a rights based approach is crucial to protect our sacred lifeline.”
Dr. GK Pandeyji said, “There is much that is being done through the judicial systems but the need of the hour is to prevent any and all sewerage waste, whether treated or untreated from going into the river, instead this water must be recycled and reused. Additionally, 100 metres on both sides of the river must be declared a no construction zone where the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides as well as open defecation is strictly prohibited.”
Stakeholder’s dialogue from the workshop came up with recommendations and suggestions for bridging the gaps encountered on way of Ganga Rejuvenation. It will also explore strategies, pressing needs and opportunities, as well as identify potential partner institutions, organizations and individuals as well as identify their roles and responsibilities in the vital and crucial task of Ganga Rejuvenation. The workshop will be organized in the form of an interactive roundtable discussion on specific themes around the challenges, opportunities, collaboration, project possibilities and comprehensive action as well as participation plan.
During the event people from many countries and all around the nation participated in the discussions and activities and submitted their suggestions and ideas for a Clean and Free-Flowing River Ganga.