Declare Ganges a national heritage, demand people

September 18th, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) Calling for the formation of a high level committee to conserve the Ganges, more than 300 people held a rally here Thursday to demand that the river be declared a national heritage.”Beyond the barriers of religion, caste, creed and other boundaries, the Ganges touches our lives. The river should be declared a national heritage,” Mamta Yadav, member of an NGO, Dream India, told IANS.

Organised by the Ganga Raksha Manch, whose convenor is the known spiritual guru Swami Ramdev, the rallyists marched from the Jantar Mantar monument to the nearby Parliament street police station — and back.

The rallyists, including young school children, raised slogans demanding the conservation of the 2,510-km river which begins at the Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand, in the central Himalayas, and flows into the Bay of Bengal through its vast delta in the Sunderbans.

Sagar Tanwar, a 13-year-old boy, dressed in a plain kurta-pyjama, said he had informed all his friends about the rally.

“My father told me about the rally and said that if I was interested, I could join with him. I in turn told my friends about it. We are all here because we believe in the issue of environment conservation,” he said.

The rallysist submitted a letter to President Pratibha Patil with a list of demands.

“We demand that a high level committee be set up to look after the conservation of Ganges. Also we want that any kind of construction on the river’s embankments be stopped and all the states through which the Ganges flows should ensure that industries don’t dump their waste into the river,” said Shivani Sharma, another rallyist.

“Dumping waste into the holy river should be made a punishable offence,” she added.

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