New Delhi : The “Ganga Mashaal” has formally started its journey from Rishikesh and Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The Mashaal will travel to a total of 23 stations along river Ganga which will help in sensitization of the local people and Namami Gange volunteers. Along with the District Administration, field volunteers like Ganga Vichar Manch, Ganga Doot (NYKS), Ganga Praharis, Ganga Mitras shall also be supporting in the journey of the Mashaal, carried by the brave men of the Ganga Task Force (GTF) up to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal.
The Ganga Mashaal was flagged off on the last day of the Ganga Utsav, i.e. 3rd November 2021 from New Delhi by Union Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Pankaj Kumar, Director General, NMCG, Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, and Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification, Shri Prasoon Joshi.
In Rishikesh, the Ganga Mashal was welcomed at Triveni Ghat by Premchand Aggarwal, Speaker, Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly and Smt. Anita Mamgai, Mayor, Rishikesh. This was followed by lighting of the lamp, Saraswati Vandana, Nukkad Natak based on Swachhta, Ganga Aarti, and several other cultural performances by school children and youth from National Service Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC). The Mashaal was led by Col. Rohit Shrivastava, Major L N Joshi, Subedar Lalit Mohan, Subedar Shailendra and Shri Sunil Dobal, Nodal Officer, District Ganga Committee. In Haridwar, the Ganga Mashaal was welcomed by Wildlife Institute of India and WAPCOS.
On the anniversary of the announcement of the River Ganga as the ‘National River’ (i.e. 4th Nov), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) celebrates Ganga Utsav every year. The objective of the Utsav (festival) is to promote stakeholder engagement and ensure public participation.
The Utsav highlights the significance of “Jan Bhagidari” in the revival of Ganga, with a focus on encouraging stakeholder engagement and public participation towards the rejuvenation of river Ganga. Through Ganga Utsav NMCG targets strengthening of the public – river connect. Since the last four years this event has acted as an important platform to establish connect with people from all walks of life.
The 5th edition of ‘Ganga Utsav 2021- The River Festival’ was held in New Delhi from 1st to 3rd November 2021, with several interesting activities like Ganga Dialogue, Kahani Junction, live paintings, photo exhibitions, etc. The event was also marked by several important launches and releases such as the Continuous Activity and Learning Portal (CLAP), Ganga Knowledge Portal, etc. Taking inspiration from the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Nadi Utsav’ i.e. celebrating rivers, the aim was to celebrate not just River Ganga but all rivers in the country. Over 150 districts have already organized Nadi Utsavs, and many more will continue to do so in the coming months. The celebrations are also part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav campaign.