In Hindu mythology river Ganges is a Goddess. Having status of a mother – Maa Ganga, also known as Bhagirathi. The water flowing in Bhagirathi is considered to be nectar. With qualities to purify. Unplanned urbanization, abject neglect has polluted this nectar. The river, also known as Jivandayanee (a female who gives life) is choking. To keep Ganges clean is a mission, today. A national mission.
To clean the 2,525 km stretch of Ganges is a daunting task. More important is to keep pollutants out. To educate people to keep Ganges clean.
The ‘God’ of Cricket – Sachin Tendulkar – may become the face of this mission. To create awareness. Prime Minister’s Office is preparing a mega campaign to sensitise people about the need to reduce pollution in the holy river. Sachin may become the face of this mission.
Talks are on to appoint the cricket legend as the brand ambassador of the mission to help spread the message. This comes amid a barrage of criticism over the ineffectiveness of the mission, as the pollution levels in the Ganges have scarcely improved according to most assessments, even as there has been some visible improvement on the ghats along the river, Anubhuti Vishnoi has reported for Economic Times.
“We are in talks with Sachin Tendulkar to help us take the campaign to the people. His office has indicated that he is agreeable to the idea. We hope to launch the campaign next month itself,” ET has quoted a senior NMCG official as saying. Officials said the campaign will unfold across all media formats. The NMCG is in talks with various agencies to formulate the finer elements of the campaign, which will seek to bring home the need for a concerted public effort towards desisting from adding any pollutants to the river.
Sachin’s association with the mission in itself is capable of taking the message to crores of people. That is the kind of connect and fan following the God of Cricket enjoys in this land. Sachin has close to three crore fans and followers on the facebook, is followed by over one and a half crore people of Twitter and 62 lakh on instagram.
The mission is among the top priorities of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in Lok Sabha, is himself deeply committed to it. The PMO is now closely monitoring progress on the mission, with weekly meetings being held with the NMCG to ensure that some results are visible by 2018, ahead of the next general election.
The Rajyasabha MP may not qualify as a politician on various counts, but Sachin’s approach towards his social responsibilities has been fully professional. The complete transformation of the two villages (Puttamraju Kandariga in Andhra Pradesha and Donjain in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra) speak laud about Sachin’s seriousness and commitment for any social cause the cricketing genius takes up.
However, this will be interesting to know that Indian sports’ one of the most precious brand will be taking up the Mission Clean Ganga as a professional. Or, the Rajya Sabha MP will be serving on PM Modi’s mission as a social responsibility.
The government is of the view that apart from sustained effort to fast-track the project on specific outcomes, especially to check industrial and sewage related water pollution, there is a pressing need to build a public momentum and a sense of citizen ownership of the mission. Sachin can be one of the best driver for the public awareness mission.
The campaign apart, the NMCG is set to unveil a series of events around the Ganges to create a “visible buzz” around the mission. A Ganges Yatra on the lines of the ‘Narmada Yatra’ launched by Madhya Pradesh Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is on the agenda but in a shorter format. An NMCG team will visit Madhya Pradesh soon to study the Narmada Yatra and its impact, officials said.
Next month onwards, events and activities around the Ganga Dussehra, Ganga Ekadashi and a Char Dham yatra are also being planned to generate public interest.
Another version of Ganga manthan, which was earlier held soon after the Modi government took office and Uma Bharti was allocated the water resources ministry and the Ganga mission, is also in the works to build greater consensus on the programme with all stakeholders.