Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest, along with a 40-member team, is on a month-long rafting expedition 'Mission Gange' to clean River Ganga and spread awareness about waste management.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has been making several efforts to rejuvenate and conserve Ganga, as the River serves as a lifeline to millions of people who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. 'Mission Gange' is, therefore, being organised to spread awareness about keeping the sanctity of River Ganga intact. It is being organised by the NMCG along with Tata Steels, as part of which the expedition team will be rafting through the Ganges-waters across seven major cities of India during the month-long journey.
Speaking on the expedition, Bachendri Pal said "We will raft for 1,500 km and will have halts of three days each in bigger cities. We will clean and spread awareness amongst all especially, the youth and school students".
A member of the Mission Gange team, Sneha, added:" We need to take up responsibility, and Bachendri Pal has provided us with every opportunity to create a social impact, spread awareness, thereby taking care of the country."
In an attempt to provide further vitality to the government's flagship programme of "Namami Gange"- the expedition team will reach out to thousands of people, especially young men and women, in order to make them understand the importance of the holy river. The team will be visiting multiple schools and institutions as part of the mission to rope in more people and infuse energy into making the project a success.
"It has been a great start. People are getting associated with us. Of late, many organisations have joined us in the Mission Gange. So it is a good start and I am very optimistic that this journey will thrive in similar fashion ahead. Things do not change overnight. Things will gradually improve after each individual with a changed mindset joins the campaign and spreads awareness in the country," Pal added.
Some critics raised apprehensions on the colossal task of cleaning the river. However, stepped up efforts of the government, enforced by common people's participation, are paying off. In a major boost to the government's spirit, locals and tourists are acknowledging that Ganga is now cleaner.
Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, Rajiv Ranjan, said he is confident of meeting his deadlines of rejuvenating the river. "Thousands of people are dependent on river Ganga for the array of their life-supporting activities- ranging from daily household chores to irrigation to business. But an imprudent usage of its water in last few decades had rendered Ganga polluted and even toxic at places," he noted.
With timely identification of the problem and corrective measures of restoring originality, the Government of India aims to take achieve the task of cleaning the river within the stipulated time frame.