SAVE GANGA MOVEMENT
A Gandhian non-violent movement for a non-violent culture of development
Gandhi symbolizes a culture of Truth and non-violence, i.e. a culture of pursuit of ethical perfection as the ultimate goal of life and pursuit of selfless ethical life of universal love as its means; the Ganga, symbolizes all rivers and water bodies; and the Giriraj Himalaya, symbolizes all mountains, forests and wildlife.
Smt Rama Rauta founded the Save Ganga Movement in 1998 with a seminar on ‘Ganga aur Humara daayitva‘ at Kanpur understanding the need of a nationwide collective movement to the cause and also a need for a holistic solution to the various issues faced by the river. She conceptualised the movement with Gandhian ideology and soon this movement was supported or joined by various eminent Gandhians, religious leaders from various faiths, legal experts , eminent political leaders and various scientific organisations such as IIT, CSIR labs such as NEERI, NBRI, ITRC and many like-minded NGOs. A holistic roadmap detailing short-term and long-term solution to the impending ecological crisis drafted by the continuous churning of the intellectuals associated with this movement has been a reference guide to the Governments working towards making the Ganga “Aviral ” and “Nirmal”.
Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharyajee
Noted Gandhian Social worker, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi
Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Society
ORGANIZATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH SAVE GANGA MOVEMENT
-CHINMAYA MISSION, MUMBAI, DELH
-RAMAMANI BKS IYENGAR YOGA INSTITUTE, PUNE
-M.C. MEHTA ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION, NEW DELHI
-GANDHI SMIRITI AND DARSHAN SAMITI, NEW DELHI
-ARCHBISHOP HOUSE, NEW DELHI
-GUILD OF SERVICES, NEW DELHI
-AHIMSA VISHWA BHARTI, NEW DELHI
KHADI &VILLAGE INDUSTRIES COMMISSION GRAMODYOG MUMBAI
-SANKAT MOCHAN FOUNDATION, VARANASI
-SADHU VASWANI MISSION, PUNE
-NAVJIVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, AHEMDABAD
-NATIONAL BOTANICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (C.S.I.R), LUCKNOW
-INDUSTRIAL TOXICOLOGY RESEARCH CENTRE (C.S.I.R), LUCKNOW
-NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH INSTITUTE (C.S.I.R), NAGPUR
-ART OF LIVING, BANGLORE
-GANDHI NATIONAL MEMORIAL SOCIETY, AGAKHAN PALACE,PUNE
-ALL INDIA IMAM ORGANIZATION, DELHI, GUJRAT
-ISCKON, MUMBAI, PUNE
-BHARTI VIDYA BHAWaN, MUMBAI
-GAYTRI PARIVAR, SHANTIKUNJ, HARIDWAR
-KABIR PEACE MISSION, LUCKNOW
-PARMARTH NIKETAN, RISHIKESH
-SRI CHITANYA PREMA SAMSTHANA, VRINDAVAN
-MOKSHADA, NEW DELHI
-TERI, NEW DELHI
-SHRI MAAN MANDIR SEWA SANSTHAN TRUST, BARSANA, U.P
-BANDHUA MUKTI MORCHA, NEW DELHI
-GANGA AVHAAN, UTTARKASHI
-PRAJAPITA BRAHMAKUMARIS, MOUNT ABU,
-NATIONAL YOUTH PROJECT, NEW DELHI
-BAHAI LOTUS TEMPLE, NEW DELHI
-WWF, NEW DELHI
A NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR A NON-VIOLENT CULTURE OF DEVELOPMENT
The utility, aesthetic and religious value of the natural ecology of the Ganga & of the Himalaya is invaluable. Ganga, the cradle of the Indian civilization, is considered to be the holiest river by crores of Indians. It is the lifeline of crores of people of our subcontinent; about 47 per cent of the total irrigated area in the country is located in its basin in its 2525 km. stretch. Yet it is greatly agonizing, anguishing and alarming to see that year after year we are doing more and more harm to the natural forests and wildlife of the Himalayas, and in spite of our launching the Ganga Action Plan in 1985 and spending hundreds of crores of rupees for this purpose, the pollution levels of the mighty Ganga continues to be alarmingly high, even though we know that it is the lifeline of crores of our people and crores of our people consider her to be their divine mother and that the polluted water directly or indirectly causes health hazards like cancer, respiratory diseases, renal failure and much other water born or water related diseases. According to UNDP Human Development Report 1998, there are more than 29 cities, 70 towns and thousands of villages located on the banks of the river, depositing every year more than 13 billion liters of sewage directly into it. Another 260 million liters of industrial wastes are added to this by hundreds of factories along the riverbanks. Besides, to this, are added the run off from more than 6 million tonnes of chemical fertilisers and more 9000 tonnes of chemical pesticides.
According to the report of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published on 20th March 2007, apart from the Ganga, the Indus, Nile, and Yangtze are among the 10 most endangered rivers of the world, that are lifeline of billions of people. Global warming could cause more hunger in poor countries and extinction of many animal and plant species and melt most glaciers of the Himalayas, which is the source of the Ganga, the Indus and many other great rivers, by the 2030s, according to a draft UN report published on 6th April, 2007.
Unfortunately our leaders in political and industrial domains, are showing utter indifference to the impending devastation ecological crisis. The intellectual and spiritual leadership can exercise pressure on the establishment to adopt a form of development based on the principle of non-violence.
Philosophy of the Movement
Objective of the Movement
The objective of the Movement is, on the one hand, to create mass awareness for an eco-friendly non-violent culture of development for the protection of our life-sustaining natural systems in general and of the sacred Ganga and the Himalayas in particular; on the other hand, to put moral pressure on the government, to take time-bound decisive steps to completely and permanently save the Ganga symbolizing all rivers and water bodies, and the Giriraj Himalayas, symbolizing all mountains forests and wildlife.
Origin of the Movement
Important Activities of the Save Ganga Movement
Save Ganga Rally at Delhi (12th Nov, 2000)
A fervent appeal was made to the Hon’ble Rashtrapati K. R. Narayananf for his guidance and active supportt for this noble cause. A national campaign was launched with a mass rally in Delhi on 12th Nov. 2000, with blessings from the then Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and many eminent spiritual leaders including His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchikotipuram, Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani of Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune, in which eminent persons like Shri Sundarlal Bahuguna, Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharyaji, Dr Kanchanlata Sabarwal, Dr Samprasad Vinod etc. participated.
Save Ganga Yatra From Gangotri To Gangasagar (May 2002 – Nov 2003)
The Save Gangas rally paved the way for organizing a country-wide Save Ganga Yatra from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar spread over three years. It was the idea of Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna to undertake this Yatra, to create mass awareness against the pollution of the Ganga and its tributaries. Shri Bahuguna has been with us as a great moral force from the very beginning. The Yatra was conducted in three phases.
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas March, Delhi (March, 2007)
We organised the 2nd Save Ganga & Save Himalayas March from Bapuji’s Samadhi at Rajghat to Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 12-03-2007, the77th Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the Centenary year of his Satyagrah in South Africa. A delegation comprising of Smt Rama Rauta, Rev. Sawami Nikhilanandaji of Chinmaya Mission, Delhi, Rev Fr. Charles D’Souza, Archbishop’s House, Delhi, Anushree Rauta, NWO, Pune met Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji 4.30 p.m and presented the Charter of Ten Demands in the form of an appeal to Save The Ganga & The Himalyas. He was pleaded with to ensure that government prevents completely dumping of untreated sewage from cities and towns and effluents from industries to rivers. (Please see the report on the Save Ganga March at Delhi on 12th March 2007)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas March, Delhi (March, 2008)
We celebrated the78th Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas March from Bapuji’s Samadhi at Rajghat to Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 12-03-2008 . H.H. Vincent M. Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi, Hon,ble Member of Parliament Shri Rewati Raman Singh, Dr Priya Ranjan Trivedi, President, World Institution Building Programme, Dr M.L. Dewan, President, HIMCON and Gandhian Activist Smt Rama Rauta, Convener of the Save Ganga Movement led the March. Many distinguished persons such as Dr. Ashok Srichand, President, Ganga Sewak Samaj, Allahabad, Shri Promod. R.S, Secretary, Jain Swetamber Terapanth, New Delhi , Smt Rekha Udit, Secretary, Global Warming Reduction Centre, New Delhi, Shri Manish Kumar Shekhar, President, Khadi &Village Industries Development Agency of India, Dr. Pramod Talgeri, Vice Chancellor, India international Multiversity, Pune , Shri Madhav Aslekar, Registrar, India International Multiversity, Pune participated in the march. The March commenced with prayers near our beloved Bapuji’s Samadhi at 8:30 a.m on 12th March 2008 and concluded with the formal presentation of Our Charter of Ten Demands to Save the Ganga and the Himalayas in the form of an Appeal to our Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji at the Rashatrapati Bhavan. (For the details about the event, please see the report on the Save Ganga March at Delhi on 12th March 2008.)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion, Gandhi Darsan (March, 2009)
We celebrated the 79th Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, from 9:30 a.m. to 1.pm, commenced after prayer near Bapu’s Samadhi, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2009. A delegation consisting of Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharyajee, H.H Swami Tejomayanandji, Shri M.C. Mehta, H.H. Swami Nikhilanand, Revered Bishop Franco Mulakkal, and Smt Rama Rauta met our Hon’ble Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 5.45 p.m. at his residence and requested him to implement all Our Charter of Ten Demands to Save the Ganga and the Himalayas, which was presented to him after our Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Rally at Delhi on 12th March 2006. To our deep satisfaction the Prime Minister said that the government accepts in totality Our Charter of Ten Demands and said again that he considers the Ganga to be the soul of India. He said that the Government has also taken up a National Mission for saving the Himalayan Ecosystem as a part of the National Action Plan for Climate Change. (For the details about the event, please see the report on the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Function at Delhi on 12th March 2009.)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, New Delhi (12th March, 2010)
We celebrated the 80th Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2010. Shri Jairam Ramesh, Hon’ble Minister of Environment & Forests was the Chief Guest.. Smt.Tara Gandhi Bhattacharyajee, Dr Smt. Kumada Joshi, Shri M.C. Mehta, H.H. Swami Nikhilanandji, H.H.Archbishop Vincent M.Concessao, Dr. G.D.Agarwal, Dr.Vijay Bhatkar, Dr. A.K. Merchant, Dr. T. Chakrobarti, Dr. K.J Nath, Dr .U.N Rai, Shri J.K Bassin and many other distinguished scientists and social activists participated in the function.
Save Ganga & Save Himalyas Yatra Badrinath-Rameshwar (Oct – Dec 2010)
We completed with grand success the 1st & 2nd phases of our “Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Yatra from Badrinath to Rameshwar” which commenced with a Gita- Ganga Gyan Maha Yagna along with a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Exhibition from 21st to 24th October 2010 at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi ( organized by Chinmaya Mission, Delhi). In the course of the Yatra we held successfully Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Seminars /Workshops at Hardwar on 26th October (organized by NBRI Lucknow and Chinmya Vidyalaya, Hardwar), at Rishikesh on 27th October (hosted by Paramart niketan) and at HNB Central University, Srinagar on 29th October(organized by HNB Central University). The 2nd phase of the Yatra from Vrindavan to Varanasi commenced with a Save Ganga & Save Yamuna Workshop at Vrindavan (organized by Dr. Mohini Giri, Chairperson, Guild of services) on 5th December 2010. In the course of the Yatra, we held deeply satisfying quite successful Save Ganga Workshops/ Meetings at IIT, Kanpur on 7th December, (organized by IIT, Kanpur) at Allahabad on 9th December (organized by Chinmaya Mission & Ganga Sevak Samaj, Allahabad) at Sankat Mochan, Varanasi on 10th December (organized by Sankat Mochan Foudation, Varanasi) and at BHU, Varanasi on 11th December (organized by BHU, Varanasi). There was an essential agreement on the following two points:
1. The highly earth quake prone, eco-fragile Uttarkhand region of the Ganga Basin must be declared “Ecological Fragile” and its rivers “wild river” and all steps must be taken to protect them and the natural eco-systems they support.
2. Since our rivers are the source of drinking water for crores of our common people and also for the animals and STPs cannot convert sewage into potable water, industrial effluents and hospital wastes treated or untreated and also sewage from the cities and towns treated or untreated, must not be allowed to enter into the rivers: sewers must be separated from rivers and sewage must be converted into valuable natural manure for organic farming, producing electricity in the process wherever possible. (For the details about the Yatra, please see the report on the 1st and 2nd phases of our “Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Yatra from Badrinath to Rameshwar.” )
The main objective of our “Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Yatra from Badrinath to Rameshwar” is to bring together under one roof various like-minded organizations and like-minded eminent persons from different streams of life (like-minded experts from national laboratories such as NEERI, Nagpur IITR, NBRI, Lucknow, IITs, Universities, etc, like-minded eminent youth leaders, political leaders and leaders of Industries, religious leaders & religious institutions of different faiths, Gandhian leaders & Gandhian institutions, social activists & NGOs, etc.) to devote to the cause of creating: the mass-awareness necessary to save the Ganga, symbolizing all rivers and water bodies, and the Giriraj Himalaya, symbolizing all mountains, forests and wildlife & the mass-awareness necessary to create a Gandhian Non-violent Culture of Development, which is the surest and perhaps the only solution to our impending catastrophic Global Ecological Crisis, through Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meetings/ Seminars/ Workshops, etc to be held in various major cities/ pilgrimage centers of our country in the course of the Yatra. The seers and prophets of all great religions would agree with the Gandhian solution to the impending catastrophic man-made Global Ecological Crisis. (For a discussion on this issue, please see the note entitled “Gandhian Solution of Global Ecological Crisis”.)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion, New Delhi (12th March, 2011)
We celebrated the 81st Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2011 in which a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Resolution was unanimously passed. H.H. Swami Tejomayanandaji, H.H. Swami Chidanandji, H.H.Swami Agnivesh, H.H.Swami Nikhilanandji, H.H. Acharya Lokesh Muni, H.H. Paramjit Singh Chandok, H.H. Swami Dharmanandji, Fr. Sebstien, Dr. Mohini Giri, Shri M.C. Mehta, Dr Vandana Shiva, Sri Rajendra Singh, Dr. Mohan Singh Rawat Gaonwasi, Prof. P. Pushpangadan, Prof. Rajavashistha Tripathy and many other distinguished scientists and social activists participated in the function. (See the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Resolution in our website).
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion, New Delhi (12th March, 2012)
We celebrated the 82nd Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2012. The topic of discussion was “What We Must Do to Save the Ganga.” (For the thematic note, see the note “The Means to Save the Ganga’ in our website.) The function was dedicated to Swami Gyan Swarup Sanadji (Prof. G.D. Agarwal) who had been on a fast unto death since 14th January, 2012 to press for the conservation of the Holy Ganga. An appeal to our Hon’ble Prime Minister to take immediate action to accept the Save Ganga Recommendations/ Proposals of Swami Sanand on behalf of the Ganga Seva Abhiyanam (GSA) and save his valuable life was made unanimously in the National Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion. Last year’s Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Resolution was again unanimously passed in the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Function and was sent to the Prime Minister along with the Appeal. The Save Ganga Recommendations/ Proposals of our Save Ganga Movement and of the Indian Parliamentarians Forum for Save Ganga & Himalayas and of the Ganga Seva Abhiyanam (GSA) of are essentially the same: they have a common core and are complementary to each other with reference to non-core Recommendations/ Proposals.
The Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion was attended by various eminent persons from different religions and from different streams of life. Kunwar Rewati Raman Singh, MP Smt. Rama Rauta, Convener, Save Ganga Movement, Dr. Mohini Giri, President, Guild of Services, Dr. Vandana Shiva, President, Navdanya Movement,Shri M C Mehta, Advocate, Supreme Court, HH Swami Chidanand Muniji, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, HH Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, New Delhi, Dr. A.K. Merchant, Bahai House, New Delhi, Prof. Paritosh Tyagi, Chairman, Scientific Research Committee, NGRBA, Dr. R Shanker, IIT, Roorkee, Shri Vijay Panjwani, Advocate; Dr. Sandeep Joshi, SERI, Pune; Shri Hemant Dhyani, Ganga Ahwan Movement, Uttarkashi, HH Lokesh Muniji, Ahimsha Vishwa Bharti, HH Jagad Guru Ramanandacharya Swami Hans Devacharyaji, HH Swami Avichal Das, President, All India Sant Samiti, Gujarat, HH Maha Mandleshwara Dharmendra Devji Maharaj, Swami Devendraji Maharaj, Guru Man Singhji, Swami Parmanandji, General Secretary, All India Sant Samiti, Gujarat, Dr. Shyam Asolekar, IIT, Mumbai, Member GRBMP, Smt. Tara Bhattacharyaji, Vice President, Gandhi Dharshan, Shri Rajneesh Mehra, oZ Group, Prof. Masahisa Nakamora, Center for Sustainability and Environment, Shiga University, Japan, Swami Mohananand (Lal Baba), Shri Mohan Singh Gaonwasi, Ex- Minister, Uttarakhand, HH Brijraj Sharanji, Maan Mandir, Varsana, Mathura,Dr. Vinod Bhatt, Navdayna, New Delhi, Er. Vinod Km Aggrawal, Mokshda PEVSS, New Delhi, Smt. Chitra Kesarwani, Mokshda PEVSS, New Delhi, Dr. Vikash Shukla, Comm. Coordinator, NMCG, NGRBA and a number of other persons were also present in this seminar. (For the details about the event, please see the report on the Save Ganga& Save Himalayas Function at Gandhi Darshan, Delhii on 12th March 2012.)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai (2nd October 2013)
A one day Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-Cum-Panel Discussion was organized on 2nd October 2013 at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in which a Charter of 7 recommendations were unanimously made to the government to save the Ganga symbolizing all rivers and water bodies and the Himalayas symbolizing all mountains, forests and wildlife. H.H.Swami Tejomayanandji, Head, Worldwide Chinmaya Mission, Mumbai, Smt. Rama Rauta, Convenor, Save Ganga Mission & Expert Member, National Ganga River Basin Authority, Shri M.C. Mehta, Noted Environmentalist & Supreme Court Advocate, Prof. Vinod Tare, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Co-coordinator, Ganga River Basin Management Plan, Shri Rahul Dev, Noted Journalist, H.H. Prabhu Bhaktiras, ISCKON, Mumbai, Prof Indrajit Dubey, IIT, Kharagpur, Prof. Shyam R. Asolekar, IIT Mumbai, Dr. K. C. Sahu, Retd Prof, IIT, Mumbai, Dr. Anju Singh, IIT, Mumbai, Dr. A.K Mittal, IIT, Delhi, Dr. Rakesh Kumar, NEERI, Mumbai, Dr. S.N. Kaul, Retd Prof, NEERI, Nagpur, Advocate Shri Harshad Desai, Mumbai, Advocate Pradeep Mandhyal, Mumbai, Ms Niha Didi, Brahmakumari Mumbai and many other distinguished persons from different streams of life were present in the function. (Please see our website, www.savegangamovement.org for the report on the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas function)
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion at at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March 2013 and 12th March 2014)
Like in the previous years, the Anniversary of Gandhji’s Dandi Yatra was celebrated in the form of a Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting- cum- Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2013 and 20141. There was free frank critical discussions on various aspects of the issue what short-term and long-term time-bound course of actions we must take to save the Ganga symbolizing all rivers and water bodies and the Giriraj Himalayas, symbolizing all mountains forests and wildlife. (Please see our website, www.savegangamovement.org for the reports on the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas functions)
It is our deep conviction that acceptance and implementation of the following Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Recommendations is necessary to make our national river mother Ganga Aviral & 100% Nirmal which would surely be a major step in the direction to save all our other great rivers which are also in the process of slow death. They are essentially based on the discussions in the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Meeting-cum-Panel Discussion at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March 2013 and 12th March 2014 and the Charter of 7 Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Recommendations made at the Mumbai Gandhi Jayanti Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Function held on 2nd October 2013, the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Resolution passed at the Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Function held at Gandhi Darsan, Rajghat, New Delhi on 12th March, 2011 &,12th March,2012 and the Charter of Ten Demands accepted by Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on 12thMarch 2009, which are available in our website: www.savegangamovement.org.
Save Ganga & Save Himalayas Recommendations
1. The following recommendations of the Consortium of seven IITs which is preparing the Ganga River Basin Management Plan(GRBMP) must be endorsed implemented throughout our country: –