Do you remember giggling while watching Chennai Express? The plot of the movie revolves around the last wish of Rahul’s grandfather. He wanted his ashes to be immersed in the holy river of Ganga and in Rameswaram, which is considered one of the holiest place in India. Did you cry while watching the epic love story Veer-Zaara? Do you remember why Preity Zinta came to India? If not, let me remind you. She came to India to scatter the ashes of her governess in the river Sutlej.
Reasons behind the Pollution of the Sacred Rivers of India
Rivers that are considered sacred often has to pay a heavy price for the tag. River Ganga is the perfect example to explain my previous statement. Ganga is considered the most sacred river in Hinduism, a religion followed by the majority of India. In the year of 2007, it became the 5th most polluted river in the world. The river has become a threat to human beings, fishes, amphibians and the Ganges River Dolphins. Few days ago, around hundred bodies were found in the river in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. Who was responsible for it? I am afraid to say that the answer is religion.
Two popular beliefs in Hindu religions are:-
1. If one takes a bath in river Ganga, the sins get washed away.
2. The dead person will quickly go to heaven if his/her ashes are dropped in the river.
My knowledge about religious stuff is poor. The only thing that I know is that we can’t turn our head from the harsh reality of polluted river in the name of religion.
Starting from raw sewage to industrial waste, everything goes down into the river. The river Ganga has reached its saturation level but still it is forced to swallow flowers and dishes with oil and wicks.
Why did Ganga Action Plan fail?
The government claimed that it has tried to clean the river. What is the result of the claim? Everyone knows ‘Ganga Action Plan’ was a huge failure. Why did it fail? It failed because not only the government but also the common people are corrupt. You must be knowing how landforms are created. Erosion and deposition play key roles in the formation of a landform. If we treat Ganga as a landform, you will realize that it is impossible to erode away the dirt from the river completely, if we continue depositing dirt in it. The level of dirt will remain unchanged. The erosion (removal) of dirt should be the only factor working in the river Ganga.
How can you Stop the Pollution of the Rivers?
You can’t do anything about the industrial waste without the help of government but there are many other things that you can do. Next time, when you see a dead body, suggest the family to go for an electric crematorium. Next time, when you want to offer respect to a river instead of dropping flowers and diyas in the river, remove them. A baby step can lead to a huge transformation. It’s time for us to take that baby step!