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10 Ways You Can Help in Cleaning Ganges

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Cleaning Ganges or any river is much like cleaning the blood vessels of a human body for healthy living. Both are complicated in nature but yet essential for life. While one takes care of the human body the other takes care of the entire ecosystem of its neighborhood. Therefore, it’s important to take care of both if you wish to increase the life expectancy.

Below are the 10 easy steps that you can take to help in cleaning Ganges around your area.

Boycott diesel boats

illegal Diesel Boats in varanasi river
A Jugaad diesel boat (picture by Unnati Sharma)

As per a survey in 2016, there were more than 600 diesel boats being operated in Varanasi. These diesel boats or “Jugaad boats” are locally made and operated by the boat contractors. Diesel boats can accommodate a lot of passengers, are cheaper when compared to the rowing boats and this is why a lot of people use them.

cleaning ganges by not using diesel boats
A Jugaad diesel boat (picture by Unnati Sharma)

When you chose a diesel boat you do a favor to your pocket but at the same time, you contribute to damaging the fragile ecosystem. These diesel boats emit toxic gases on the surface of the Ganges which leads the heavy particle to fall into the water. They not only pollute the water but they contribute heavily to polluting the air we breathe and disrupt the peaceful aura of the ghats.  Recently Varanasi was listed among the worst polluted cities in the world by WHO.

On paper, Govt has made these boats illegal but the ground reality is completely different. One can spot them roar aloud from morning to night all around the ghats.

Monitor what you throw in the Ganges

cleaning ganges by not throwing garbage into it
(picture by Unnati Sharma)

Whenever you’re about to throw anything in the river, just ask yourself this simple question – “Can I eat it and still be safe?” If the answer is no then you shouldn’t be throwing it. It’s always this simple.

dead animals in ganges
A dead fish near the ghats (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Offer Organic Diyas

diyas being thrown in ganges
Residue of Diyas at the Ghats (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Thousands of pilgrims and tourists visit Varanasi every day they all visit for different reasons but have one act in common “Offering Diyas”. These Diyas are often sold along with flowers in a disposable bowl.

Earlier the bowls were made organically from leaves and had an earthen lamp in them. Today, these bowls are coated with silver plastic film and have wax candles in them. While buying Diyas just do a quick check to make sure that the one you’re about to buy is organic.

Avoid Using Plastic

polluting the Ganges in Varanasi
(picture by Unnati Sharma)

Carry a reusable bag. It’s lighter than your phone and can easily be kept in your bag or pocket! the plastic that you buy and dispose of safely in your recycle bin is not really being recycled that gracefully. In most cases, it often ends up in landfills or thrown in the river on the outskirts of the city.

cleaning Ganges by boycotting plastic
(picture by Unnati Sharma)

Organize Cleanliness drive or Volunteer

Volunteer to clean ghats in Varanasi
An NGO cleaning the Ghats (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Once in a while on weekends organize a cleanliness drive with your friends. Such activities with friends are always fun! Plan out a leisure walk and pick up trash if you see it lying around.

Educate to Eradicate

teach kids to live sustainable
A kid trying clear the area (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Educate your family and friends about the health of the river and how every action we take impacts it. Teaching kids is easier when it comes to developing good habits.

Create & Curate

Capture the pictures and videos of the places where you see such issues and share them with government on social media. Make sure that such issues never go unnoticed.

Donate

If you’re unable to give your time but wish to help in cleaning the Ganges then you can also contribute by making donations to the NGOs working towards the same goal. One such oldest organization is the Sankat Mochan Foundation.

Sankat Mochan Foundation is working towards cleaning the Ganges since 1982. The organization was founded by BHU professor and Mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple Shri late Veer Bhadra Mishra.

Sankat Mochan Foundation
Sankat Mochan Foundation (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Sankat Mochan Foundation is working towards three important goals

  1. Restoring the Ganges
  2. Promoting education and health care programs for the less privileged
  3. Maintaining and encouraging the age-old cultural traditions of Varanasi, in tune with its current environmental needs.

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