A Special Consultation with Faith Leaders and Stakeholders dedicated to the Keeping Mother Ganga Clean was held at Parmarth Niketan, Uttarakhand on Thursday (26) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and Namami Gange, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, together with Ganga Action Parivar, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.
The workshop was blessed by HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan, Founder of Ganga Action Parivar and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) who has dedicated his life and pioneered the efforts to engage and inspire the masses to serve Mother Ganga and the millions who are dependent upon her very waters. It was graced by Pujya Sant Murlidharji Maharaj, Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Jain monks and many other faith leaders and faith community, joined by Shri Surendra Nath Tripathi, (IAS-R) Director-General IIPA, Shri Jagmohan Gupta, Advisor NMCG and others of the team.
Some of the key points discussed during the meet were: Sustenance of cleanliness of ghats, inspiring ownership of those residing in Maa Ganga’s catchment and maintaining Aviral and Nirmal Maa Ganga and sustaining the rich ecosystem in her catchment.
Shri Surendra Nath Tripathi DG, IIPA shared, “It is a great honour and privilege to be here today on the sacred banks of Maa Ganga for this Consultation with Faith Leaders. I am sure in Pujya Swamiji’s divine presence who is a Bagirath of our times to guide us on the way forward to maintaining a free flowing and clean Maa Ganga, inspiring and motivating a people’s movement for this cause. It is our collective responsibility to maintain balance and harmony between Prakriti and Purusha, between man and nature and this is what we must do for Mother Ganga as well.”
Advisor of Namami Gange Jagmohan Guptaji said, “Through the tireless efforts by the Jal Shati Ministry and the Namami Gange campaign to leave no stone unturned to ensure the best infrastructure has been created to ensure a clean and free flowing Mother Ganga. The flora and fauna along Maa Ganga has also been revived in the last 5 years. Through Arth Ganga we have connected livelihoods to Maa Ganga, promoting organic natural farming and also connecting handicrafts and livelihoods to the river. Now we look to faith leaders and FBOs to take our efforts forward to leave no one behind and ensure the sustainability of Namami Gange.”
Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji commented, “Time has come that we not merely chant for Maa Ganga, not merely organize conferences, but we must also make choices to protect Her ecosystem. We must choose Maa Ganga in what we buy, what we eat and what we consume because the time to act is now! We must realise that our actions and our choices shape the world we make. We cannot make speeches about protecting Mother Ganga and then go on wearing and purchasing leather. As faith leaders we must raise awareness amongst the masses to see the intricate interconnection of all of life.”
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said, “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. To me Maa Ganga is the ambassador of all water bodies, she represents all of Mother Nature, along her banks we have seen the birth as well as the flourishing of our civilization. It is time that we do everything in our capacity to ensure that the efforts made under our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s divine mission and vision for Namami Gange should be sustained for the welfare of all. It is time that the people must come forward to illustrate that Jan Shakti is dedicated to Jal Shakti.”