Spiritual Ganga: The Dirtiest River In The World


Ganga, the sacred river of India has importance more than just being a source of livelihood; it embodies a metophor for spiritual enlightenment. The river flows through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of India and finally merges into the Bay of Bengal. Situated along its banks are some of the world’s oldest inhabited cities like Varanasi and Patna. Ironically, the river is considered the most polluted river in the world.

After a number of failed attempts at restoring the river’s original significance and charm by the former government; the current government has initiated the Namani Ganga Project  in the July 2014 budget under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi in his recent visit to United States, at the Madison Square, went on to urge the Indian diaspora in the United States to join the clean Ganga initiative. Modi’s speech ended with a short video showing the importance of the holy river in India and the NDA government’s initiative to bring back the the river it’s lost glory. Modi’s initiative was appreciated by Bill Clinton who lauded the smart way of bringing the project into light. Also, Israel expressed its interest in sharing its expertise on water purification and waste water treatment under the pet project for cleaning river Ganga.

Under  the Swachh Bharat campaign which has made waves throughout the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh few days back announced cleaning up of the Gomti river on the same lines as river Ganga. “Health of rivers is indicative of the health of a nation. When a country’s rivers start drying, its fate also dries up,” he said while addressing a cleanliness awareness programme. The objective of the centre is not only to develop the country as an economic capital but also a spiritual capital, for which unhindered flow, cleanliness and clearness of its rivers is necessary, Singh added.

Union water resource minister Uma Bharti has said that the river will be visibly clean in the next three years, and in the next 10 years it will be cleaned completely. Cleaning Gomti would be a lot easier than Sabarmati which had dried up, added Bharti.

Gomti is a tributary of the Ganga river. It begins its journey from Fulhar Jheel in Pilibhit district and confluences with Ganga near Saidpur in Ghazipur. Total length of the river is about 940 kilometer.

Adding to the ongoing campaign, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has said that her government will launch a drive where each citizen of Gujarat is required to dedicate a day every month to clean their neighbourhood.

We have to cultivate this habit of keeping our city clean. When he was the CM, Modi successfully inculcated this habit in the people. As a result, you won’t find people loitering on Kankarai lakefront or Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad,” Patel said.

The enthusiasm of the government and commitment to make sincere efforts to bring out a cleaner face of Bharat is clearly visible. Now it is the people’s turn to appreciate the efforts of the government and contribute in making the country a more beautiful and hygienic place to live in.

Ratanpriya Sharma

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