In partnership with the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Ganga Action Parivar, Swarovski and Divine Shakti Foundation, youngsters gathered on banks of Ganga in Rishikesh pledging to work together to save water and keep the environment clean.
A 12 year old boy Abhinav, said, “We humans are the creator of problems of water and we humans have to create solutions to it as well.” Shubham expounded on the crucial importance of planting trees, saying, “Trees give oxygen, fruits, food, shade for humans and animals alike. Trees are very important for all of us if we want to keep surviving on the earth.” The day concluded with a mass rally on the banks of Ganga and the tying of Ganga Rakhis (sacred threads), which the children themselves made and dipped in to the Ganga as part of a mass vow to save and protect nature.
According to NITI Aayog, nearly 60 crore people across India may have no access to drinking water by the year 2030, placing our nation in imminent crisis. At the same time the lifeline rivers like the Ganga, remain polluted, with some three billion litres of sewage and tonnes of trash entering the river every day.
The participants were members of the Water School Programme, which has been enabling children from across the region to learn inspiring lessons about nature and its role in their lives, including hands-on classroom experiments, tree plantations, mass clean-ups, special events and more. As a result, children are motivated and mobilised as champions for a clean, green and water-secure future said the head of Parmarth Niketan, Chidanand Saraswati.
The Water Day event began with an art competition, during which hundreds of children from across the region demonstrated their talent to share their own unique messages about water. Children also shared their own unique viewpoints, inspiring all with thoughts that often surpassed their ages.
A dance was presented on the theme song of Beat Plastic Pollution India campaign launched on the UN Environment Day which encouraged everyone to pledge to reduce one time use plastic and polythene pollution as these accumulate, choking up rivers, waterways, sewage systems and contaminate the soil.