New Delhi: President Ramnath Kovind said that conservation of Ganga, environment and culture is the foundation pillar for the development of our country.
President Kovind was addressing the inauguration ceremony of Jagran Forum on the topic Ganga, Environment and Culture in Varanasi today. It was organized by Dainik Jagran. He said that holding discussions on such topics is not only relevant but it helps to ensure people’s participation and paves the way for the development of mankind.
The President said that the sanctity of Ganga is paramount in our lives. It teaches that our mind, words and deeds should be pure like Ganga Neer. The President said that the cleanliness of the Ganges effectively shows that we are living with a pure heart. It gives the message of continuity in life in perpetuity.
The President said that it would not be appropriate to see the Ganges as just a river. Ganga is the lifeline of Indian culture and is the carrier of spirituality and reverence. In our country it is believed that all the rivers of the country have the element of Ganga. Many devotees take Ganga water from India and flow it in foreign rivers. In this way they connect those rivers with reverence. He said that Ganga connects Indians living in every corner of the world with the culture and tradition of their motherland and their country. Therefore, Ganga is the identity of the people of India.
The President said that conservation and promotion of environment and culture in our country will happen only when the Ganges is uninterrupted and clean. The area of the Ganges and its tributaries is spread over eleven states. According to an estimate, 43 percent of the country’s population lives in this region. Therefore, water conservation in the Ganges river basin and reduction of flood and erosion in this area is very important. With these objectives, the goal of cleanliness of the Ganges and protection of the environment is linked.
The President said that the Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission “Namami Gange” was launched in 2015 with the objective of conserving the Ganges and the environment. He said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has taken a step to increase the cleanliness of Ganga and the grandeur of Kashi. He said that the Ghats of Banaras are now clean and orderly. He said that the emphasis on the cleanliness of the Ganges, its ghats and the city of Benaras has not only given a boost to environmental protection, but has made travel to Benaras more enjoyable for tourists.
The President said that keeping the Ganga clean, preserving the environment and enriching its culture is not only the duty of the government, but the personal responsibility of all citizens. This thinking should be adopted and spread at a nationwide level. He expressed happiness that awareness in this regard has increased among the people in the last few years. He said that many organizations and people from different areas, especially the media and the villages along the Ganga bank, have made commendable contribution in the cleanliness of the Ganges.
The President said that through this forum, the effort of Dainik Jagran Group to organize discussions on social issues and to make society aware of its responsibility is commendable. He expressed confidence that discussions in the forum will increase awareness and activism about the inter-relationship of Ganga, environment and culture. He hoped that such discussions would prove useful in making the river Ganga clean, providing a better environment and enriching its culture.