Ganga Sabha using social media for clean ganga campaign

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project Namami Gange is likely to get a major fillip in the Ardh-Kumbh starting from January 14. In a move that may boost clean-up of the Ganga, Shri Ganga Sabha, the body responsible for the up-keep of Har-ki-Pauri ghat and conducting the Ganga aarti, is planning to launch a website during the Ardh-Kumbh, which would not only educate people about the need to keep the river clean but also importantly, dispel several misconceptions prevalent among Hindus regarding disposal of religious texts, photographs, idols and clothes in the Ganga.

The organization, celebrating its centennial this year, also intends to use WhatsApp and Twitter to spread the message to maximum number people possible. Officials of the body said they would also be reinforcing the need to keep Ganga clean by rendering an oath to keep the river clean to the pilgrims who congregate for the morning and evening aarti on the banks of the river. Though the launch date of the website has yet not been finalized the representatives of Ganga Sabha opine that the process would be completed on a major bathing day.

Senior member of Ganga Sabha, Ashutosh Sharma told TOI, “There are several misconceptions among the devotees that they should dispose religious texts, photographs, idols and clothes in Ganga for a religious cause but by doing so they are only further polluting the holy river.” Ashutosh maintained out that there is an immediate need to educate people and clear all their doubts on the important issue. “The website would serve an ideal platform to reach out to a large number of people,” he added.

He pointed out that for the final rituals saints are preferring Bhoo Samadhi (burial underground) over Jal Samadhi (water burial). “In a similar manner, devotees while following proper rituals, including a hawan, may bury the pooja samagri. It will definitely help clean Ganga and bring down its pollution level,” Ashutosh added.
The Ganga Sabha is contemplating the use of WhatsApp and Twitter to reach out to a larger number.
On a daily basis, an approximate gathering of 2,000 devotees turn up at Bramh-Kund for the morning and the evening aarti. However, during Ardh-Kumbh the number at the ghat swells in the range of 40,000 to 45,000.

For the last three years, the 11 Shastri (priest) who perform the aarti, render the oath of keeping the river clean to the devotees, prior to the start of aarti.

 “It is a sight to capture and remember for life. Thousands of devotees raise both their hands and take pledge to keep the river clean and also ensure that other also did not pollute the river,” president of Ganga Sabha, Purshottam Sharma said. Purshottam maintained that the body had taken up the cause of keeping the river clean for past many years. “Mega religious events like Ardh Kumbh helps us taking the issue on a national as well as international level,” he added.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com