President of India graces the Inaugural Session of the Jagran Forum on Issues of Ganga, Environment and Culture in Varanasi

NEW DELHI: The preservation and promotion of “Ganga, Environment and Culture” is the foundation for development of our country, said the President Ram Nath Kovind. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the Jagran Forum on issues of Ganga, Environment and Culture in Varanasi today organised by Dainik Jagran. He pointed out that organizing discussions on such issues are not only relevant but also help us ensure people’s participation and pave the way for the development of mankind.

The President said that the sanctity of the Ganga in our life is utmost. It teaches us that our minds, words and deeds should be pure like Ganga water (neer). In effect, the President said that the cleanliness of the Ganga denotes that we live with a pure heart, it’s eternity carries the message of continuity in life.

He also said that it would not be appropriate to consider Ganga just as a river. It is the lifeline of Indian culture and the carrier of spirituality and faith. There is a belief in our country that all the rivers of India have essence of the Ganga. Many devotees take Ganga-water from India and pour it into the rivers abroad, thereby connecting those rivers with their faith. He stated that Ganga connects Indians of every corner of the world with their motherland and with the culture and tradition of our country. Ganga is therefore the identity of the people of India.

President lauded that protection and promotion of environment and culture in our country can happen only when the Ganga remains uninterrupted and clean. The area of the Ganga and its tributaries is spread over 11 states. According to an estimate, the region is inhabited by 43 percent of the country’s population. Therefore, water conservation in the Ganga River Basin and reducing flood and erosion in this area is of prime importance. With these objectives, the goals of the cleanliness of the Ganga and the protection of the environment are also associated.

The integrated ‘Ganga Conservation Mission’ called ‘Namami Gange’ was launched in 2015 with aim to protect Ganga and environment. He was happy to note that good results of this mission are visible. He said that the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has taken the initiative to improve the cleanliness of the Ganga and the splendor of Kashi. He noted that the ghats of Banaras are now clean and tidy. The emphasis on cleanliness of Ganga, its ghats and the city of Benaras has not only given a boost to environmental protection but also has made the journey to Benaras more enjoyable for tourists.