Dera Sacha Sauda volunteers to ‘save’ Ganga in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : The recent publicity given to the pollution, garbage, dirt and filth in the river Ganga, has brought the desired results for cleaning it, albeit not from the central and state governments, but from rather unexpected but more determined and effective quarters.

Come Nov 1 and about two lakh of volunteers of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, hailing from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttarakhand will descend upon Rishikesh and Haridwar and meticulously get on their work of cleaning Ganga, its banks and even the roads, lanes and by-lanes of the cities.

To facilitate their work and ensure that it is a done in a planned and meticulous manner and the ‘shramdaan’ of the volunteers does not go abegging, the entire stretch of the river has been divided into eight zones from Rishikesh to Haridwar and beyond to Roorkee.

The first two zones that will have volunteers from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh working on them will comprise the Har-ki-Pauri, railway station and bus stands of Hardwar, while the Delhi and rajasthn volunteers will work on zones three and four consisting of Kankhal, Shantikunj and Bhupatwala in the outskirts of the holy city.

Volunteers from Himachal Pradesh will work in zone 5, which is Rishikesh, while volunteers from Haryana and Uttarakhand will work on zone 6 which is the area from Dam Kothi to Jatwara Bridge. The zones 7 and 8 will also be under volunteers from these two states and will comprise the area from Jatwara Bridge to Pathri Bridge and from Pathri Bridge to Roorkee.

Though the cleaning drive is just for a day, that is Nov 1, but spokesman of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Dr Aditya said that with the large number of volunteers coming to render devoted service to the holy river and cities, the impact of the drive will be clearly visible. The cleaning till Roorkee will also be of the Ganga Canal, he added.

Though this will hopefully open the eyes of the district administrations of the Haridwar, Roorkee and Dehra Dun, but what is being perceived as more important is that it will send a message to the people of these cities that if outsiders can come and clean their cities and Ganga, perhaps a little better civic sense will help in maintaining the good work that they have done and not pollute the river, which is crying to be saved.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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