By Our Staff Reporter
Rishikesh, 26 May: A Special Consultation with Faith Leaders and Stakeholders dedicated to keeping River Ganga clean was held at Parmarth Niketan today in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and Namami Gange, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, together with Ganga Action Parivar, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.
The workshop was inaugurated by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan, Founder of Ganga Action Parivar and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA). Present on the occasion were Sant Murlidhar Maharaj, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Jain monks and many other faith leaders and faith community, joined by Surendra Nath Tripathi, (IAS-R), Director-General, IIPA, Jagmohan Gupta, Advisor, NMCG, and others of the team.
The event began in the Sri Ram Katha by Pujya Sant Murlidharji being held at Parmarth Niketan Ganga Ghat. Swami Chidanand Saraswati felicitated the Director General of IIPA and the Advisor of Namami Gange with a sacred Rudraksha sapling. He also led a special pledge for Maa Ganga in which thousands participated in person and online to keep river, its banks and ghats clean.
The afternoon Ganga Chaupal and consultation began with a special lamp lighting ceremony followed by Dr Shyamli Singh’s welcome note and highlights of the work that IIPA and Namami Gange had done. A special Ganga Anthem by IIPA Team was shared as well.
The key points discussed were: Sustenance of Cleanliness of Ghats; Inspiring Ownership of those residing in Ganga’s catchment and maintaining Aviral and Nirmal Ganga; sustaining the rich ecosystem in its catchment.
Surendra Nath Tripathi stated, “It is our collective responsibility to maintain balance and harmony between Prakriti and Purusha, and this is what we must do for Mother Ganga as well.”
Jagmohan Guptaji affirmed, “Through the tireless efforts of the Jal Shati Ministry and the Namami Gange campaign, the best infrastructure has been created to ensure a clean and free flowing Mother Ganga. The flora and fauna along the Ganga has also been revived in the last 5 years. Through Arth Ganga we have connected livelihoods to the river, promoting organic natural farming and also connecting handicrafts and livelihoods. Now we look to faith leaders and FBOs to take our efforts forward to ensure the sustainability of Namami Gange.”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati added, “Time has come to make choices to protect the Ganga’s ecosystem. We must choose Maa Ganga in what we buy, what we eat and what we consume. We must realise that our actions and our choices shape the world we make.”
Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji affirmed, “It is time that we must all come together, all faith leaders, faith based organisations and all stakeholders to ensure that Maa Ganga remains in her clean and free flowing state. Because if Ganga dies, India dies and if Ganga thrives then India thrives. Maa Ganga is the ambassador of all water bodies. Along her banks we have seen the birth as well as the flourishing of our civilisation.”
There was special feedback, suggestions and sharing by stakeholders and community members facilitated by the Parmarth Niketan and IIPA team. After the event there was a rally down to Parmarth Ganga Ghat for the divine Ganga Aarti.