Water conservationist Rajendra Singh, along with a team of 20 scientists, activists, and environmentalists, on Tuesday began a 105-day yatra from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand to Gangasagar in West Bengal for the cause of a “nirmal” (clean) and “aviral” (free-flowing) Ganga.
Environmentalist and Ganga activist Professor G.D. Agrawal (87) alias Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand is on a fast-unto-death in Haridwar’s Matri Sadan ashram demanding that illegal mining in the Ganga be banned, and the construction of hydro-power projects in the river be stopped. On Tuesday, he entered the 103rd day of the fast.
Singh said, “Our yatra’s main purpose is to support Agrawal ji… We have five vehicles to undertake the yatra. We will walk where we have to, or cross the Ganga through boats where needed, but we will halt at various human settlements along the river to apprise people about the need for a clean and free-flowing Ganga…and about the kind of law needed to ensure this.”
While the core team undertaking the yatra has 21 members, Singh said, “people will keep joining the yatra at various cities, towns, and villages that the yatra enters.”
The yatra that will move through the cities, towns, and villages along the Ganga, covering over 5,000 kms, will conclude at Gangasagar on January 14, 2019.
Extending support to the yatra, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday: “…G D Agrawal (Swami Sanandji) has been on a fast for free-flowing Ganga. From October 2 a yatra for the Ganga will begin from Gaumukh to Gangasagar. You all must participate in it.”
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