Visit the Ganga Action Parivar website
H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji is the Founder and inspiration behind Ganga Action Parivar, a global family of professionals, engineers, scientists, activists, spiritual leaders, environmental specialists and dedicated sevaks (volunteers) dedicated to the preservation of the River Ganga and Her tributaries in their free-flowing and pristine, natural state and to the protection of over 500 million people who are dependent upon Ganga’s clean waters for their lives and livelihoods.
The waters of Mother Ganga are always pavitra (pure) but me must pledge and work to keep them also swatcha (clean).
The holy, life-giving Ganga is one of the most at-risk rivers in the world. Every day, it is polluted by some three billion liters of sewage and chemical waste, threatening the health and lives of millions. Its ecology, containing some of the world’s rarest plants and wildlife, is under similar threat.
On April 4th, 2010 by the hands of H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswati, former Deputy Prime Minister Hon’ble Shri L.K. Advani, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Major General B.C. Khanduri and many revered saints and dignitaries, Ganga Action Parivar was officially launched at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh at a special “Sparsh Ganga” (“Divine Touch of Ganga”) function, an event to raise awareness about the need for collective and holistic, solution-based action to address the crucial issues facing the holy river. Since then, hundreds of supporters and family members have been mobilized, coming together to find solutions to the problems facing Ganga and Her tributaries.
The mobilization of this GAP family was critical to filling and bridging the gaps left by previous Ganga Action Plans, after which Ganga’s dire situation has continued to deteriorate. With Ganga irrigating the fields which feed more than one-third of India’s population, with Ganga being the sole source of water for bathing, cooking and drinking for millions of people, and with Ganga symbolizing the national heritage and identity of India, the situation has become truly critical.
We must learn to give, give and give like the Sun and like Mother Ganga – with no hesitation, no expectation, no vacation and no discrimination.
Despite these challenges, Ganga Action Parivar knows that the power and spirit of love, unity and cooperation are the only ways to bring about true, sustainable change. GAP members have pledged to have Mother Ganga as the head of their family and are dedicated to bridging differences to work as one family, embracing all and including all.
Ganga Action Parivar’s myriad programs and projects include:
- Toilets, to provide proper, eco-friendly sanitation
- Trash, to provide solid waste management and recycling
- Trees, to help clean and restore the environment
- Taps, to provide clean drinking water
- Tracks, to “green” one of India’s most vital networks which connects the entire country
- Tigers, to protect India’s endangered wildlife
The National Ganga Rights Movement, which is being spearheaded by Ganga Action Parivar, is promoting the National Ganga Rights Act to protect and restore one of the world’s most precious and beloved river systems.
The draft National Ganga Rights Act and Petition, prepared by Ganga Action Parivar under Pujya Swami Chidanandji’s leadership, can be found at www.gangarights.org. Be sure to visit and add your name in support of this important cause!
Teaching school children the importance of building healthy, fertile soil as well as techniques for planting and caring for a wide range of fruit and nut bearing trees.
A joint effort with South Asia Pure Water Initiative, Friendly Water for the World and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance under Project Hope to provide clean drinking water to all, starting with the flood devastated regions of Uttarakhand.
A joint effort with Green Pilgrimages Network to “green” not only the temples, mosques, shrines, gurdwaras, churches and other sacred buildings along Ganga, but also to “green” the pilgrimage routes used to reach these places.
Working to remedy existing pollution in Yamuna’s waters, stop future pollution from entering the river, and to establish ecologically- sustainable flows in Her bed.
Popularizing and energizing a new plan that taps into India’s enormous capacity to harvest and provide solar power, meeting 100% of the nation’s future energy needs by 2050.
Inspired and promoted the first-ever, eco-friendly Green Kumbh Mela through awareness events, clean-up programs, tree plantations and more.
Proposing the declaration of the Upper Ganga Region as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing this area as not just an area of local or national concern, but truly of global importance.
Organizing and hosting conferences and workshops that gather together leading scientists, environmentalists, activists, government officials and spiritual leaders to find sustainable solutions for the problems facing Ganga and Her tributaries.
Organizing Ganga festivals, dramas, rallies, and school and community activities to bring environmental awareness and reverence of Ganga to people, inspiring thousands to help protect and restore Ganga.
Inspiring a sense of reverence, awe and devotion toward Mother Ganga, not only transforming Her banks into temples, but also dissuading people from using the same area as a toilet or trash can during the day.
Distributing pamphlets, brochures, flyers, hoardings and other literature to help spread awareness about the situation Ganga is facing today, and inspiring all to be the change and live “green”.
Join the movement to restore, protect and maintain our river Ganga and her tributaries to their aviral (free-flowing) and nirmal (unpolluted) states. Be a part of the family and engage in meaningful dialogue, positive action and implement working solutions to the issues facing Mother Ganga.
Share your ideas, volunteer, sign the petition for Ganga’s Rights, act locally, live green and so much more.