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Christian Missionaries Cleanse the Holy River Ganges

April 26, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 1018

The River Ganges or Ganga is a river is considered as Holy River in India. The River Ganges has been declared as the national river of India. The Hindus believe that the river is an avatar of a goddess. They call it affectionately as Mother Ganges. Unfortunately, the River Ganga is so polluted that experts find it extremely hard to cleanse the water for usage. Recently, scores of Catholic priests, nuns and laity have initiated a move for cleaning the sacred river.


River Ganges or Ganga has been an affectionate mother of Hindu devotees for centuries. Mother Ganges has been a guardian goddess of their worship. She has been the soul and symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization. The Ganges has been the history of the country.

The Hindus believe that drinking the holy waters of Mother Ganga would heal them, bathing in her waters would wash away the sins, and scattering the ash in the holy water of the Ganges after cremating a human body would ensure your place in heaven.

Cleansing move by Christian missionaries

Just a few days back, a movement with the name “clean-Ganga mission, under the leadership of Fr. Anand Mathew, was inaugurated at the Holy City Varanasi by the Indian Missionary Society. The activities of the movement are appreciated by people of all religions. Fr. Anand pointed out that many Hindu groups campaigning for de-polluting the river were pleasantly surprised at their initiative to clean the Ganges. It is to be noted that this issue has been drawing the international attention for the past three decades.

Fr. Anand said that he too took a dip in the polluted water in solidarity with the people and prayed to restore the sanctity of the river. He asked God to forgive the industrialists, sages and others who pollute the river. The Christian volunteers of the campaign, who joined together to share the sentiments of the benevolent people, cleared a 700-meter stretch of the river of stinking clothes, flowers, plastics and other ritual materials.

Campaign to cleanse the Holy River

Although the Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the Holy River, was instituted in 1985 it has been a failure. Swami Nigamananda, a 34-year-old ascetic, died in June 2011, after fasting for two and a half months to save the river from pollution.

Many NGOs are still trying to cleanse the river from pollution and save humans and other living beings. Cleansing the river seems to be a formidable task beyond reach. A social organization called “save Ganga” called for a mass dip and shutdown on April 17 in Varanasi to press the authorities to clean the river.

Pollution of the River Ganges

The Ganges is the largest river in India, flowing through Indian continent and covering a distance of 2,525 km. It rises in the western Himalayas and flows through the Gangetic plain of north India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is estimated that more than 2,000,000 persons ritually bathe daily in the river. Measurements of fecal coliform from human excreta have been recorded as high as 67,000 times the safe level for humans. Human bodies, partially cremated by people who cannot afford the cost, are simply thrown into the river. Environmentalists have pointed out that the extreme level of pollution is caused by sewage from cities, industrial waste, including lethal chemicals, illegal mining and religious offerings wrapped in non-degradable plastics. In 2007, the Ganges river was ranked as one of the five most polluted rivers of the world.

Although cleansing the Ganges seems to be a very formidable task, the “clean Ganga mission” believes that it can be cleaned with the cooperation of the local people and mass awareness programs.

Author: deepa        
Posted Date: 04/28/2012    Points:1    

nice post sir, have you been paid by this site, I just joined, thats why I am asking.

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