New Delhi :National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with APAC News Network virtually organized today the 7th Edition of the monthly ‘Webinar with Universities’ series on ‘Igniting Young Minds, Rejuvenating Rivers’. The sub-theme for the webinar was ‘Biodiversity.’ The session was presided over by Shri G. Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG. The leading educators who participated in the session included Dr. Parvinder Singh, Vice Chancellor, Rayat Bahra University, Mohali, Dr. Sayalee Gankar, Vice Chancellor, DY Patil University, Pune, Dr. Parag Sanghani, Provost, P.P. Savani University, Surat and Dr. Rana Singh, Director, Professor and Dean Academics, Chandragupt Institute of Management, Patna. Students from Shoolini University, Himachal Pradesh, also joined the webinar and interacted with Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Expert, NMCG on the issue of ‘Biodiversity of Ganga’.
Giving his keynote address, Shri G. Asok Kumar emphasized on the importance of rainwater harvesting and urged the institutions to ensure that “not a drop of rainwater goes waste on the campuses.” He talked about ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign undertaken by National Water Mission and said that natural buckets of water (various water bodies) should be ready for rainwater harvesting in the upcoming monsoon season. Shri Kumar informed about the various steps being taken in the direction of biodiversity protection in River Ganga including conservation of Gangetic Dolphin, fish brooding, plantation of medicinal plants like Rudraksh etc. and said that the biodiversity of a river is the best indicator to know its health. Shri Kumar exhorted the younger generation to adhere to the 5R Concept of Circular Economy that includes Reducing Wastage, Recycling Water, Reusing Water, Rejuvenating Rivers and most importantly, Respecting Water. He said that interest on issues like river rejuvenation can develop at college level and it is important that there should be awareness in the younger generation who are our “ambassadors of change”.
Dr. Parvinder Singh focused on three aspects to make programmes like Namami Gange successful – policy interventions, behavioral change and public participation. He admitted that such a task is not the responsibility of just one agency and ownership at the state and local level is essential. He also opined that programmes like Ganga Rejuvenation should also be on the priority list of all educational institutions.
Dr. Sayalee Gankar emphasized on the need for creative and innovative solutions from the younger generation on aspects of river rejuvenation and water conservation. She said that young minds need to explore these areas and all need to come together in terms of creating experimental hubs in universities and create innovative solutions. Simultaneously, she added, that ethical values related to rivers should be adhered to and one should view rivers with respect.
Dr. Parag Sanghani also drew on the possibility of using academic institutions to create affordable solutions to the problems of water and river pollution. He emphasized on the need to develop local parameters and find local solutions to local problems. He also advocated the use of digital platforms to connect with the younger generation and transform such programmes into mass movements.