NEW DELHI: Faith leaders have joined hands with the government for Ganga cleaning mission with Swami Chidanand Saraswati, co-founder of GIWA (Global Interfaith WASH Alliance) adopting two villages for making them model villages and Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi supporting for building toilets along banks of Ganga.
Two villages on the bank of River Ganga, Veerpur Khurd in Dehradun and Mala in Pauri Garhwal have been taken by Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation to make them model Ganga villages, in collaboration with GIWA.
The ministry with state governments, has the mandate to make villages on the bank of river Ganga open Defecation free (ODF). 4270 villages of 4515 Ganga villages have been declared ODF. These two villages, Mala and Veerpur Khurd have also been declared ODF.
“Now, with the help of various stakeholders, these two villages will be provided with solid and liquid waste management facilities, drainage systems, ground water recharge, modern crematoria in coordination with various Ministries involved. Growing of Medicinal herbs and shrubs will also be promoted in these two villages,” said the ministry.
Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Narendra Singh Tomar lauded the contribution of spiritual leaders in taking forward the swachhta movement and other social causes. He said all religions working together have great potential to influence behaviour change including toilet usage.
Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has been on a 15 day Ganga yatra, where she is meeting all stakeholders and common people to spread the message of clean Ganga. She is also seeking support of common people in cleaning the river.
In a recent review meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed unhappiness over the progress of Ganga cleaning work and has asked the Ganga mission to complete the pending projects.