SAVE GANGA MOVEMENT
NATIONAL WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION, PUNE
A GANDHIAN NON-VIOLENT MOVEMENT FOR A NON-VIOLENT CULTURE OF DEVELOPMENT
Ganga symbolizes all rivers and water bodies; Giriraj Himalaya symbolizes all mountains, forests and wildlife; 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.
To, Date: 22-08- 2020
Shri Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
7 Lok Kalyan Marg, (7 Race Course Road)
An Appeal for the Rejuvenation and Preservation of our National River Mother Ganga
Let us consider the present global deadly Corona Virus Crisis as a great opportunity and solemnly resolve on the auspicious occasion Ganesh Chaturthi on 22nd August 2020 to take the necessary steps:
- To rejuvenate and preserve our great river mothers and their sources our great mountains and forests, which are in the process of slow death, and
- To transform (a) Our urban India profoundly village-&-nature-friendly and (b)Our rural India into a heaven for leading enlightened ethical life of simple living and high thinking in an atmosphere of natural beauty and purity with loving care of our invaluable life-giving and life-&-health-sustaining aesthetically and religiously invaluable natural eco-systems.
Let us begin this great noble effort first by taking the necessary steps for the rejuvenation and preservation of our national river mother Ganga, which is the cradle of our great living ancient civilization and constitutes the lifeline of nearly 40 % of our country’s population. We now have the necessary wealth, knowledge, skill and a holistic comprehensive National Ganga Basin Management Plan (NGRBMP) prepared by the Consortium of 7IITs for the rejuvenation and preservation our national river mother Ganga. It is our deep conviction that it is possible for us to rejuvenate completely mother Ganga by 2022, the 75th year of our country’s Independence, by exercising our moral will power.
We earnestly request you to utilize this golden opportunity, to begin with, to do the needful for the acceptance and implementation of at least the following recommendations of our Save Ganga movement as soon as possible. They are the result of the churning discussions of many Save Ganga and Save Himalayas Seminars/ Meetings/ Workshops held in different parts of our country in the course of our Save Ganga Movement.
- National River Ganga Rejuvenation & Preservation Act: We must declare the river mother Ganga constitutionally as our National River with statutory provisions that ensure due respect and protection to her considering her National River status, ensuring (a) Zero Discharge of treated or untreated sewage-water, industrial effluents, etc., into the river, (b) Adequate environment flow with sediments in the river, and (c) Protection of the river’s active flood Plains.
- The National Council for River Ganga (NCRG) which has replaced The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) must have, like NGRBA, adequate number of expert members (Ganga-Activists & Ganga-Scientists) of proven good character with due substantial role both at the context of policy making as well as at the context of their implementation.
- 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, we must accept and implement the policy of zero discharge into the rivers throughout the country. Treatment of the sewage through “Pond System and Plant Based Management of Sewage and Waste Treatment” and using the nutrient rich treated waste water for organic forming, which is the cheapest and durable and need least management and electricity, should be preferred wherever possible.
- We must take decisive time-bound course of actions` to ensure an adequate environmental flow of natural fresh water with sediments on the Ganga bed throughout the year and throughout the stretch of the river, not only to protect and preserve her ecology but also to meet the basic water needs of the habitations on her banks, and restore the unique health promoting bactericidal, non-putrefying, self-purifying qualities of natural pure Gangajal (the water of Ganga). We must accept and implement the policy of maintenance of Adequate Environmental Flow in the rivers throughout the country.
- Methods of irrigation and agricultural practices need to be changed keeping in view of the E-flow requirements of our national river and sustainability of ground water in the Ganga Basin. Dependence on rivers for irrigation could be substantially reduced by making our villages self-dependent as far as possible for their water needs through storing rainwater in traditional ways in tanks, ponds, etc., and rejuvenating / preserving / creating wetlands, grasslands, forests wherever possible.
- Himalayan Ganga Basin Rejuvenation & Preservation Act: We must declare the highly earthquake-prone, eco-fragile and ecologically, aesthetically and religiously invaluable Uttarakhand region of the Ganga Basin 'Ecologically Fragile and a Sanctuary for Himalayan Flora and Fauna', and its rivers 'Wild Rivers' and take all the necessary steps to protect them and the natural eco-systems they support. We must also declare this religiously invaluable Uttarakhand region to be our National Spiritual Heritage Zone, and must not allow any eco-hostile or spirituality-hostile tourism in the name of Tirtha Yatra.
- River Rights Act: We must have a law protecting River Rights, ensuring throughout the country (a) Policy of Zero Discharge into the Rivers, (b) Policy of Maintenance of Adequate Environmental Flow in the Rivers and (c) Policy of Protection of the Active Flood Plains of the Rivers.
We must Know that: (1)Rejuvenation and preservation of our National River mother Ganga and her source the Himalayas and our other great river mothers and their sources, is absolutely necessary to ensure permanent water, food, air and health security to our masses, future generations and our dumb and deaf life-world, and rejuvenation and preservation of our National River mother Ganga and her source the Himalayas would be a major step in the right direction for the rejuvenation and preservation of all our other great river mothers and their sources. They provide their invaluable services freely with Zero fossil fuel use. (2)The profoundly ethics-based, village-cum-nature-friendly Gandhian non-violent form of development, which is based on the basic ethics of all great religions as well as of our great living ancient civilization in the context of our present technological age, is the surest and perhaps the only long-term permanent solution to the impending catastrophic global ecological crisis, including the problem of global warming and climate change, along with the present all-pervasive deep rooted moral and spiritual crisis.
Under the spell of the glamour of the present fundamentally unspiritual and greed for wealth and lust for luxuries based, extremely eco-hostile and inherently unsustainable out-and-out consumerist form of development of the modern civilization, which Mahatma Gandhi rightly considered to be Satanic and nine days wonder only, let us not become modern Dhrtarastras. Let us always remember the invaluable message of mother Bhagavad Gita, the supreme scripture of Yoga: “Lust, anger and greed are the triple gates of hell, destructive of soul. Hence one must abandon these three.” (The Bhagavad Gita 16.21) Surely our great living ancient civilization of Truth and Non-violence has the moral and spiritual resources to provide the world an example of a profoundly ethics-based, village-friendly & nature-friendly decentralized industrialization & urbanization and save India and through it the world at large from the impending catastrophic global ecological crisis along with the present all-pervasive deep-rooted global moral and spiritual crisis. Let us pray Lord Ganesh to show us the way and help us for this supremely noble cause. May the Lord of wisdom help us to become the spiritual teacher of the world through critical character building ethics education. (For the details about our Movement's views on, 'what we must do to rejuvenate and preserve our National River mother Ganga' please visit our website: www.savegangamovement.org)
With warm regards, goodwill and prayers,
Smt Rama Rauta
Founder, Save Ganga Movement
Former Member, Expert Advisory Committee, Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of WR, RD&GR, Govt. of India
Former Expert Member, National Ganga River Basin Authority, Govt. of India
President, National Women’s Organization, Pune