An International Environmental Summit was held in Delhi at the Ashoka Hotel, organized by Sparsh Ganga Abhiyaan, Namami Gange and the Ministry of Environment during which Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji was given an award as champion of environmental protection and preservation for her work as Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance.
Hon’ble Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari and Hon’ble Minister of Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma graced the occasion which was blessed by the august presence of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), Co-Founder of GIWA, and Founder of Ganga Action Parivar; Acharya Balkrishanji, CEO Patanjali Ayurved, Co-Founder of Patanjali Yogpeeth; and Sadhvi Bhagawati Sarasawatiji, Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance. The event was presided by Hon’ble MP Shri Ramesh Nishank Pokriyal and Aarushi Nishank of the Sparsh Ganga Movement.
Speaking on an esteemed panel with Acharya Balkrishanji, Anirban Sarkar, MD Deccan Water Pvt Ltd, Maki Hisashi, Head Asia Pacfic, Hitachi Life, UP Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, HE Mr Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam, Ambassador of Tunisia, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji spoke about bridging the gap between science and spirituality for the Ganga and the preservation of the environment.
She shared, “In matters of environmental preservation and protection we actually see a great deal of overlap between science and spirituality. Increasingly, today we are seeing science also proving what spirituality has been telling us for decades. For example, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family – but science is beginning to also unravel how every species is interconnected to one another and how we are all interdependent. So whether we come at Mother Ganga as a Goddess who incarnated on Earth to provide moksha (liberation) or simply see here as the life-sustaining water of over 500 million people, we are called to protect and preserve her.”
It was emphasized in the panel the crucial need to protect the environment over economic progress, because whilst a country could grow in GDP, if it doesn’t have clean air, water and soil it can not sustain its people.
Respected Shri Nitin Gadkari gave his inspiring address in which he shared that much progress has been made for cleaning the River Ganga. He mentioned the great strides that have been made and how he is certain that there will be a aviral (free-flowing) and nirmal (clean) Ganga.
Pujya Swamiji gave his beautiful words of wisdom: “We must put aside our ego and logos to work together as one Ganga Family. Togetherness is the key and this is vital for not only cleaning our sacred River Ganga but keeping our rivers clean and protecting all water bodies.”
The event awarded champions in the field of environmental preservation and protection including, in addition to Sadhvi Bhagawatiji: Dr Vandana Shiva, agro-ecologist and eco-feminist, Chandi Prasad Bhat, Ela Gandhi Bhattacharya and a few others.