[India], Nov 5 (ANI): The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in collaboration with HCL and German development agency GIZ organized Bal Ganga Mela on Sunday. The aim of the event was to inform children about the needs and ways to keep river Ganga clean.
November 4, is also the day when Ganga was declared a national river in the year 2008.
In order to celebrate the day, NMCG organised interactive sessions, activities, games, quizzes and street plays to motivate children to become 'stewards' of the Ganga.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) said, "Ever since Ganga was declared a national river on November 4, 2008, there have been initiatives every year to celebrate the day. Continuing that trend, Bal Ganga Divas was organized this year."
Emphasizing on the need for awareness campaign for people, Mishra added, "It is very important to get public participation in the Namami Gange Mission. Participation of children and youth is very important. That's why we decided to celebrate the day with school children this year. In this manner, we inform them about it in a fun manner."
To keep the kids engaged throughout the mela, various arrangements such as street plays, where kids were informed about the importance of Ganga as well as preserving trees on riversides, were hosted. At the creative corner, children were motivated to express their feelings and raise awareness towards the environment through art. Other activities included a quiz on Ganga and games like snake and ladder to keep the children excited at the fair.
Senior government officials in the ministry underlined the importance of youth ability to motivate their parents and elders to join hands in the drive.
UP Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said, "As they say, catch them young. Children are very important. Children should understand the significance of river Ganga. They should be aware of questions like why we call it a Moksha Dayani or Jivan Dayani, what are the reasons for pollution of River Ganga, and what should we do, what should the children do even at their homes, to make the Ganga clean."
He added, "They must know certain basic facts about Ganga like where it originates from, what are the tributaries of Ganga, what kind of aquatic life Ganga sustains and other things. Ganga has a lot of aspects of it. So the idea is also to involve the children and that's why we have organized the Bal Mela today."
Ever since the Namami Gange project was launched, NMCG has taken several initiatives to make river Ganga pollution free.
Afforestation ranks high in NMCG's plans of rejuvenating river Ganga. Taking their plans a step further and with an aim to connect more organizations and public to the movement, MMCG signed a Memorandum of Understanding with tech giant HCL for the purpose of afforestation nearby Yamuna and Hindon rivers.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said that the MoU mainly is for aforestation. "The place where HCL is located has Hindon and Yamuna rivers, which are tributaries of River Ganga. And they (HCL) have a lot of land which is not utilised and also public land on which if we plant trees that will be very beneficial in the long run."
The National Mission for Clean Ganga is working on war-footing to rejuvenate and clean the river Ganga by implementing several projects and by making the public aware of the importance of preserving the holiest river.(ANI)