An MOU was signed between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance(GIWA) and the Ganga Action Parivar(GAP) in which a joint agreement was signed and agreed upon to work together in training and empowering volunteers and stewards along the 2,150 km stretch of the River Ganga with the technology that they need to effectively protect the River Ganga.
The MOU was signed by CMU’s Rachel Burcin and GIWA’s Secretary General Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji with the blessings of Pujya Swamiji and in the presence of Mr. Nirankar Saxenaji from FICCI, Ms. Savita Saxenaji and Ms Nandini Tripathi from GIWA and GAP.
GIWA’s Co-Founder and GAP’s Founder Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji envisions creating Ganga Parivar Sevaks (GPS) along the banks of the sacred national river guarding, monitoring and serving 1km stretches of river bank. They would serve as watch dogs, change agents, coordinators, social workers, motivators and facilitators. These GPS would be equipped with GPS device, in the form of a smart phone device, whereby they can monitor, record and report the regular water quality levels of their stretch of the river. In addition to this they would have Ganga Patrolling Systems, i.e. drones, robotic waste disposal and water testing systems, that would help them measure river health and record/report it in real time.
Ms. Savita Saxenaji, GIWA’s Director of Projects and Partnerships, had organised a preliminary meeting with Pujya Swamiji, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University’s Global Programs Manager, Ms. Rachel Burcin in Pittsburgh, USA during their visit in July in which they discussed using robotic technology, such as boats and drones, to monitor pollution levels in the River Ganga and Her tributaries.
This was then followed up by Rachel’s visit to India to formalise the agreement and plan for future action to take the initiative forward.
Pujya Swamiji shared his vision for the River Ganga with both Ms. Rachel Burcin and Mr. Nirankar Saxenaji, Senior Director of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), and both were eager to work together to provide their support to this vital and noble efforts.