by Hannah Punitha on  September 19, 2008 at 7:10 PM Environmental Health
 'Save Ganges' Campaign Started in Varanasi
Children of seers' families in Varanasi along with school children took to the banks of river Ganga today to save the river.

On the call of the yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, these child- priests have pledged to save the river.

As part of the campaign, pressure groups across India have decided to hold rallies on to submit charters listing the demands of the 'Ganga Raksha Manch', a committee that is spearheading the save Ganges campaign.

"Under the leadership of Baba Ramdev, we are taking out this march. All of us who love Ganga have got together to save this river," said Swami Abhimukteshwaranand, a seer.

Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganga during the festivals and on auspicious days cleanses them of sin and liberates them from the cycle of birth and death, but the river has fallen prey to water pollution and is literally in pitiable state of affairs.

The principal sources of pollution are domestic and industrial wastes. Conservative estimates put the effluents flowing into Ganges at 1.7 billion litres each day, out of which 1.4 billion litres is untreated.

Nearly 88 per cent of the pollution originates in the 27 cities that are located along the river's banks and the banks of its tributaries.

According to a recent official report, only 39 percent of the primary target of the Ganga Action Plan, which the Central Government had started in 1985, has been met so far.

The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was initiated by the late Prime Minster Indira Gandhi, who called for a comprehensive survey of the situation in 1979.

After five years, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) published two comprehensive reports, which formed the base from which the action plan to clean up the Ganga, was developed.

Source: ANI

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