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500 cyclists rally to clean Ganga

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Indian men search for coins and gold in the polluted waters of the Ganga river at Sangam after the Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad on April 2, 2013. The two month long Kumbh Mela, celebrated every 12 years at the conjunction of two sacred rivers on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Allahabad, drew massive crowds of devotees, ascetics and foreign tourists till its conclusion on March 10. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA (Photo credit should read Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)

Haridwar: About 500 activists will cycle all the way to the Bay of Bengal in support of a clean Ganga, a spiritual group said on Wednesday.

Some 100 cyclists began the campaign from here in Uttarakhand on Tuesday. They will be joined by 100 cyclists each in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal, the Gayatri Parivar said.

“The cycle rally will cover the entire route of the Ganges,” a Gayatri Parivar spokesman told IANS. The river, considered holy by Hindus, covers some 2,500 km through five states before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

Pranav Pandya, who heads Gayatri Pariwar, said in a statement that the cyclists will interact with villagers living along the river and urge them to keep the Ganga clean at all times.

“It is very important to create awareness among the people living on the banks of this holy river,” he said.

“The cyclists will move to every village and town from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal,” he added.

The cyclists will also plant trees along the banks of the Ganges.

(IANS)

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Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

Here is the list of other courageous people who paid a heavy price for their honesty

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Not just Ram Chandra, 9 more activists bore the brunt of speaking truth and fighting corruption in India
Many people have been murdered for speaking truth and protesting corruption. Pixabay

Aug 30, 2017: We live in a strange world, here, you get butchered for speaking truth and protesting corruption, and you are exalted for committing monstrous sins.

The conclusion of the rapist, Baba Ram Rahim case, was the first tribute to the family of the brave journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who was murdered for exposing Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

Ram Chander isn’t the only one who sacrificed his life for the nation.

Here is the list of other anti-corruption activists people who paid a heavy price for their honesty:

Narendra Kumar

Narendra Kumar, the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was killed by a sand mining mafia, who was carrying illegally mined stones on the tractor in Madhya Pradesh. The murder of the officer in 2002 also raised a debate on corruption, and many activists including Anna Hazare protested against the episode. A tractor was run over the officer after he tried to stop it. 

Pravin Mohare

Pravin Mohare was the film agent in Mumbai, who used to procure film certificates from the Censor Board of India. He dared to expose the former CEO of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for accepting bribe worth Rs 50,000 to provide a film certificate. In 2014, Mohare was praised for the brave act, but sooner his ID was blocked by the CFBC. He was forced to sell vegetables in Mumbai after spending months jobless.

Lalit Mehta 

Lalit, an RTI activist, was murdered in 2008 for exposing racket in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). He was attacked while riding on his way to Chatarpur. Lalit’s face was crushed to an increasing amount that it was unidentifiable.

Also Read: Criminal Babas in India- Rapist Ram Rahim and Rapist Asaram: Why Delay in Justice of these Godmen?

Manjunath Shanmugam 

Manjunath, an IIM graduate, worked as a Sales officer for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). He was murdered for sealing two corrupt petrol stations in Lakhimpur, UP, which used to sell adulterated petrol. He also led a surprise raid after the petrol station reopened. In 2005, Manjunath was found dead with injuries from six bullets in the backseat of his car.

Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy

Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy was human rights activist and a blogger. He used to write about women issues, minority groups and opposed religious extremism. His blog, Mukto Mona, was a community of free thinkers, skeptics, atheists, and rationalists, which was formed by Avijit Roy. Avijit was killed by an Islamic group, which claimed responsibility for the murder. Niladari was the voice for Avijit’s death and met the same fate for supporting him. A group of four Muslim youths butchered Niladari with sharp weapons at his apartment where he was found dead.

Satish Shetty

Satish Shetty was an Indian social activist who had exposed numerous real-estate scams in Maharashtra using Right to Information (RTI). Satish’s engagement with truth earned him many enemies. In 2010, anonymous attackers killed him in Talegaon.

Satyendra Dubey

Satyendra Dubey, a proficient IES officer, was the Project Director of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Koderma. Coming from a low-income family, he was not fond of corruption and found many discrepancies in the projects of the NHAI at Koderma. He also asked the contractor to reconstruct 6 km of poorly built roads. In 2003, Satyendra was shot dead by the mafia of road construction. His body was discovered aside the road in Gaya, Bihar.

Shehla Masood

Shehla Masood was the environmentalist, businessman, wildlife, and RTI activist. In 2011, she was shot dead at point blank range by an unidentified assailant in Bhopal. The most probable reason for her death was attached to her protest against illegal mining of diamond and strife to save animals who were slaughtered for their skins.

Tej Bahadur Yadav

Tej Bahadur Yadav, a BSF jawan, uploaded several videos on Facebook concerning the inferior quality of food given to the jawans, which the BSF denied. BSF dismissed him, and Tejpal had to go through a three-month long proceeding at a court for tarnishing the reputation of the BSF. Yadav was also withdrawn from post retirement benefits.


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“Rally for Rivers” Campaign: To Restore the Depleting River Flow in India

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Rally for Rivers Campaign
Rally for Rivers Campaign is organised by Isha Foundation. Wikimedia
  • The Rally for Rivers Campaign is an initiative of Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru
  • It is a campaign about the rivers of the country and the need for water protection and security
  • The Isha Foundation has laid out a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to reform the state of rivers in India

July 28, 2017: The Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru, is organizing the Rally for Rivers Campaign. The initiative is formulated as an effort to raise awareness.

As Sadhguru had said about the campaign, “This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally For Rivers.”

Unlike other movements, the Rally for Rivers is not to question or complain. Rather, it offers solutions. The Isha Foundation has designed a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to restore the depleting rivers.

The Indian Rivers are going into depletion. The perineal rivers have become seasonal. The River Ganga has been named as one of the world’s most endangered river. Important rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Narmada have stopped making it till the sea for four months. Every major river in India has undergone reduced water levels.

According to the estimations by researchers at Isha Foundation; by 2030, only 50% water will be available for our survival. Further, 25% of India is becoming desert. As compared to 1947, we have about 75% lesser water per person available today.

Thus arises a need for awareness and solutions. Isha Foundation has formulated a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan for river restorations. One of the solutions offered; planting tree covers. Tree covers should be created for a stretch of one kilometer on either side of the full river. For a tributary, the stretch is for half a kilometer.

To revitalize rivers, government owned land along the river banks will create and maintain native forest trees. On a private farm land, however, organic fruit cultivation shall take place.

ALSO READ: Swaraj India launches a unique campaign asking people to blow Whistle whenever they see anything Wrong happening around them

As the campaign explains, the need for a state as well as central government to be on the same page is vital to the success of the campaign. Rivers fall under the concurrent list, that is, the jurisdiction of both state as well as centre. Thus, any policy designed must be acknowledged equally by the both for effectiveness.

Additionally, for creating awareness, Sadhguru has himself planned a travel from Kanyakumari to Delhi. He aims to create as much awareness so that grass-root level support is provided to the campaign and its associated policies.

The campaign will begin from Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on 3rd September and after more than ten stops end at Delhi on 2nd October. A total of 13 states are to be covered, in which 21 major cities are part of the campaign. Sadhguru has taken upon himself to cover the entire stretch of a total 6560 kms.

The organizers have made sure that the event is fun and entertaining for a maximum number of people to show up. Along the way and all the major stops, celebrations will be seen. Events like cultural fests, musical concerts, nukad natak, paintings and handicrafts, and public sessions have been organized by the Isha Foundation. Also, all the stakeholders of policies as well as rivers are cordially invited to learn and discuss more. Journalists, Corporate people, politicians, villagers, farmers and many more are expected to turn up at the event and contribute in whatever way they can.

The success of the Rally for Rivers campaign depends mostly on people’s support and encouragement to the cause. The campaign can be joined online.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uma Bharti vow to clean up Ganga

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creamy layer
Yogi Adityanath, Wikimedia

Lucknow, April 8, 2017: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday met Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Minister Uma Bharti and assured her of all support and cooperation from the state government in cleaning up the Ganga.

“The largest stretch of the river passes through Uttar Pradesh and hence it is even more the responsibility of the state to keep the river clean,” he said, while underlining that for success of the ‘Namami Gange’ project, it is necessary that its tributaries are also cleaned up.

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The entire machinery of the state will now have to work on a war footing for this purpose, Adityanath said, stressing on the need of holding meetings of heads of the development blocks, members of the local Panchayats and village heads of districts on the banks of the river so that the cleaning up of the Ganga is take up in a mission mode.

Uma Bharti said that in absence of support and cooperation in the past regimes in Uttar Pradesh, the ‘Namami Gange’ project was not achieving the desired results but now that the present government is headed by a dedicated saint like him, she was sure that the Ganga cleaning would be a success.

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Secretary Amarjeet Singh said at the meeting that under the ‘Namami Gange’ project, 19 projects worth Rs 2,900 crore were being run in Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gadhmukteshwar, Kannauj, Bulandshahr and Vrindavan through which capacity to purify 391 MLD of water would be created.

Of the 19 projects, four projects in Allahabad have been completed while work is underway on the rest. Other than this, works worth Rs 4,348 crore are proposed in the state, he said. while suggesting that the proposed works be completed on priority basis.

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Following this, the Chief Minister directed officials to ensure completion of these projects within the fixed timelines by strengthening the infrastructure and arranging for necessary facilities. He also said that the District Magistrates concerned should also be involved so that there are no hurdles in the works.

Singh also said that because of the leather industrial units in Kanpur, Unnao and Banthra, there was a lot of pollution and added that they should be treated as a cluster and pollution controlled at these places.

At this, the Chief Minister said that a decision has already been taken by the state government to shift out leather industry units out of Kanpur and Kannauj in a phased manner, which will contribute in a big way towards the success of the mission.  (IANS)