Celebrations and engaging conversations continued on the 2nd day of the Ganga Utsav 2021 – The River Festival. This year the festival is inspired by the Prime Mister, Shri Narendra Modi’s call for celebrating Nadi Utsav (River Festival)to revive the ancient connect between people and rivers of the country.
The Day started with Sarasvati Vandana in mystical voice of Ms. RevatiSakalkar. Smt.Sakalkar is famous as Kokila of Kashi. On 2nd day official of all partner organisations joined the august audience to encourage masses. Sharing the glimpses of Day 1 of the festival Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG thanked partner institutions including the international partners like GIZ, NIUA etc. He said, “NMCG is continuously engaging in public awareness and public participation activities to rejuvenate Ganga. This Utsav gives a big boost to all the ground volunteers like Ganga Doots, Ganga Praharis, NYKS and others to continue their work.”
Union Minister of Tourism Shri G. Krishna Reddy congratulated NMCG on the celebration of 5th edition of Ganga Utsav, he said, ‘Social, cultural and historical heritage of India is also reflected through this Utsav.’ Emphasizing the connect between river and people he said, “Rivers and Indian civilization are intertwined so much that every river is called as mother in India. Without rivers India civilization does not exist.” This is the reason why Ganga Utsav is also representation of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. He also shared about various initiatives like beautification of Ganga Ghats, Jalaj Safari etc taken by Tourism Ministry in association with NMCG to promote tourism in Ganga basin. This will create employment opportunities for local communities and reduce their dependence of rivers.
Sharing his reverence for river Narmada Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS, Ministry of Jal Shakti, “The existence of River is not from us but our existence is because of river. So, don’t treat your rivers as man-made canals.” He added that instead of pointing fingers we should all focus on our (individual) contribution towards preserving our rivers. He said, “Nadi Mahotsav is not only a program but an occasion to remind ourselves that ‘Jal is Dhan’ (Water is priceless). Today, on Dhanteras let us pray to Goddess Lakshmi to bless us with Jal-Dhan (Water).”
A book ‘Celebrating the spirit of Rivers’ developed by INTACH was launched by Union Minister of Tourism Shri G. Krishna Reddy and MoS, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel. Shri. Manu Bhatnagar, Principle Director, INTACH was present on behalf of INTACH at the launch.
A music video celebrating all the rivers from Ganga to Godavari and Narmada to Cauvery,‘Rivers of India’ was also launched by both the Ministers. This video is a creation of well-known Indian-American music composer Dr. KannikkaKannikeswaran in collaboration with The Center for Clean Water (ICCW), an initiative of IIT Madras. Leading Indian classical musicians Bombay Jayashri and Kaushiki Chakraborty and their sons came together to make this breathtaking video along with contribution by several other musicians across globe through virtual mode.
Curtain Raiser of Ganga Knowledge Portal was launched by Ministers to develop robust knowledge management system for rivers. First comic book ‘Chacha Chaudhary and Ganga Utsav’ was released in context of already sanctioned initiative to connect children through this effective medium of comics as Chacha Chaudhary and Ganga kiBaat.
The book of sponsored thesis, ‘Re-Imagining Urban Rivers’ was launched at Ganga Utsav 2021. This is developed out of another innovative attempt of NamamiGange mission to involve students developing holistic thinking for Urban rivers through a thesis competition in partnership with National Institute of Urban Affairs.
In Ganga Dialogues, Ms. Ruchi Badola, Scientist, WII shared how WII devised innovative ways of connecting River- People. She also shared how they trained Ganga Prahris to protect biodiversity of Ganga. In another session, famous poet and author Shri Divya Prakash Dubey had an hearty conversation with actor Shri Peeyush Mishra.
With his vibrant performance folk singer Shri Prahalad Singh Tipaniya left the audience spellbound. He brought alive sufi-saint Kabir to sensitize people about importance of water. In literary festival, well-known poets Shri AalokShrivastav and Shri. Nilotpal Mrinal conveyed the message of river conservation through gazals and Hindi poetries. Day 2 of Ganga Utsav 2021 concluded Deepotsavam.
Shri RozyAggrawal, ED (Finance), NMCG gave vote of thanks on behalf of NMCG. He informed that more than 77 districts celebrated Ganga Utsav on day 1 through various activities. This includes districts outside Ganga Basin. He thanked the Ministers, performers, audience and thousands of participants who joined the event virtually. Tomorrow, the event will conclude in presence of Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.