On December 6, 2022, Professor B.D. Tripathi, the chairman of the Mahamana Malaviya Gangashodh Kendra and an esteemed environmental scientist, announced an ambitious plan to expand the Ganga Mitra model throughout the entire Ganga basin, with a focus on enhancing the continuity and well-being of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh. This initiative aims to engage the local populace in the Ganga’s welfare and foster a deeper connection with the river.
Ganga Mitras Model Action Plan
- Positive Impact: Professor Tripathi highlighted that the ‘National Mission for Clean Ganga’ has yielded promising results within just 10 months by connecting people to the Ganga’s uninterrupted, clean, economic, spiritual, and ecological aspects. The Mahamana Malaviya Ganga Research Centre at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has proposed extending this successful model to cover the entire Ganga basin.
- Ganga Mitra Campaign: The ‘Ganga Conservation Campaign’ commenced in March, with over 700 individuals actively participating in the Ganga Mitra campaign. Ganga Awareness Research Centres have been established at 21-kilometer intervals between Prayagraj and Ballia, involving an investment of Rs 90 lakh. More than 650 Ganga villages and 100 Ganga wards have been selected, resulting in the formation of 15,000 water conservation committees and the inclusion of 15,000 water conservators as members.
- Community Involvement: Common citizens have enthusiastically embraced this campaign, transforming their mindset and actions towards the Ganga. Thanks to the efforts of Ganga Mitras, people residing along the Ganga’s banks have witnessed substantial changes in their thinking and lifestyle. This project has been submitted to the National Mission for Clean Ganga and is slated for implementation within a radius of 2525 km within the Ganga basin, potentially serving as a model for the conservation of other rivers.
- Five-Point Focus: The comprehensive approach of the Ganga Mitra initiative revolves around five key areas:
- Clean Ganga: Ganga Mitras are actively promoting the Clean Ganga Campaign, raising awareness about the importance of Ganga’s cleanliness among the general public.
- Uninterrupted Ganga: Ganga Mitras are educating people about the significance of an uninterrupted Ganga River.
- Spiritual Ganga: Over 4,500 women from 75 Ganga Chaupals and 10,500 children from 150 schools have been engaged in the Namami Gange initiative, incorporating cultural and spiritual elements.
- Arth Ganga: By imparting knowledge about techniques such as conjunctive consumption, vermicomposting, organic farming, Ganga branding of produce, and modern irrigation methods, Ganga Mitras are helping farmers in 75 Ganga villages become self-reliant and increase their income.
- Ecological Development: Awareness campaigns are being conducted to encourage tree planting and the preservation of aquatic ecosystems near 150 schools, rivers, ponds, parks, and temples. Youth are being trained in eco-friendly technologies.
The Ganga River, originating from Gomukh and traversing five states before flowing into the Bay of Bengal, passes through what is referred to as the Ganga basin. This basin spans Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal, covering a vast geographical and cultural landscape. The Ganga Mitra initiative seeks to create a collective consciousness about the river’s health and vitality, ultimately benefiting the entire region and setting a precedent for river conservation efforts nationwide.