The waters from Ganga and her tributaries irrigate the fields of the millions of acres of agricultural crops which are grown along her banks. These farms provide food for nearly one-third of the population of India, and thus their reliance on Ganga and her tributaries in inestimable.
Protection of the waters of Mother Ganga is not only a matter of aesthetic and cultural importance. Rather, it is a life-and-death, sickness-and-health issue for nearly one-third of India’s population.
Many of these farms are involved in a mutually destructive relationship with Ganga. Their practices are harming her waters, and her waters are harming their crops. Many of these farms use non-organic methods to grow their crops, spraying their fields with harmful, toxic chemicals. These chemicals are then washed down into the rivers, filling the water with dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals such as DDT and HCH. These chemicals have been found in numbers far exceeding international safety standard.1 These chemicals affect anyone who uses Ganga or her tributaries for drinking, bathing, or cooking as well as the crops grown in fields irrigated downstream, and they are effectively killing large populations of fish and other forms of aquatic life in the rivers. Thus, we are committed to working to spread organic farming methods as well for the protection of Ganga, the farmers and all those who are fed and nourished by these crops.
- Promoting conscious use of water for irrigation
- Implementing policies that prevent toxic chemical run-off (e.g. pesticides) from entering Ganga
- Promoting mass education of farmers in the methods and benefits of sustainable, organic farming
- Creating wastewater management plans such as the installation of proper toilets and sewage systems, as well as alternative methods like plant-based management, to effectively eliminate sewage and industrial effluents from entering Ganga, and thus into the fields she irrigates
- Planting trees and other greenery to restore the land and rejuvenate the natural environment, through which the waters are purified, minimizing pollution in irrigation, and soil erosion is mitigated
- Raising awareness and educating the public about the dangers of using harmful, toxic chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers, and the urgent need to return to organic farming for the health of the people, the health of Ganga, and the health of the environment.
1 Sinha, S.K. “Ganga struggling with pesticides.” Clean Ganga Campaign. June 2003. Click here to read this article.