For centuries, river Ganges has been revered in India. It is not only regarded highly as Mother Goddess Ganga in Hindu mythology, but has found special significance in almost all the religions. Yet it continues to be in a dilapidated state with it being used as a means of washing away dirty, toxic and chemical waste from factories.
Sewage, dead bodies, animal and human excreta – all find their way into the Ganga, so much so that the word holy in its case has become an oxymoron. No doubt, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to clean the river but all failed to deliver desired results.
There is so much noise on global warming, environment and shortage of natural drinking water round the globe; sounds good for mother earth. But the sad thing about this noise is that its all just rhetoric. When it comes to action, there hasn’t been done much so far on ground.
Thankfully the lands of India have raised some Good Samaritans who are walking unswervingly on their path to make this world a better place to live and doing something unprecedented that is actually needed in this hour.
Another revolution is set to cherish mother earth to move it from a pollution and waste laden sphere to sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives.
Cremation around the Ghats and Bone Ash Disposal in Ganga
The ashes disposed off in river bodies like the Ganga have resulted in heavy pollution of the country’s holiest river.
Apart from the government’s initiative, mass awareness among the Indians is needed to check this menace. It is estimated that over 50 to 60 million trees are chopped down every year in order to provide wood for cremation.
The plight of Ganges doesn’t stop here, At times, the bodies disposed in the Ganga are not even properly cremated, making it even worse. With a shortage of wood, those that are poor tend to dispose half-burnt bodies into the river which leads to the proliferation of numerous pathogens.
Moreover, the calcium and phosphate from these bodies leeches into the ground and completely destroys the rivers.
Why Ganga Action Plan has failed
After getting elected, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to work in the direction. Subsequently, ‘Namami Gange’ project was announced by the Government in the July 2014 budget. But the pathetic conditions of pollution levels in Ganga calls for more resolute action.
The Uttarakhand government had submitted its Rs 9,478-crore action plan to the Centre to clean the Ganga from Gaumukh to Haridwar. Incidentally, it’s not the first time that state and centre governments have come together for cleaning up of the river Ganga.
In fact, the Ganga Action Plan dates back to 1985, but the river continues to be in filthy state after all these years. A measurement of pollution in the Ganga revealed that river water monitoring over the previous 12 years had demonstrated fecal coliform counts up to 100,000,000 MPN (most probable number) per 100 ml and biological oxygen demand levels averaging over 40 mg/l in the most polluted part of the river in Varanasi.
Wondering what is fecal coliform? Well, fecal coliform is one of the most dangerous microbiological contaminants of natural waters that generally lives in the digestive tracks of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and are excreted in the feces.
From where does it come into Ganga? It runs into the river through direct discharge of waste from mammals and birds from human sewage and yes.. from the ashes of dead bodies that are disposed off by people believing an eerie myth that ensures the plain sailing passage of departed soul into another world.
Unless, people choose to refrain from disposing away the dead bodies and left over bone ashes and sewage, Namami Gange can never be successful.
Wake-up call by Saint Ram Rahim: Grow trees on bone ash
What do we do when our beloved one passes away from this planet? Do we have any environment-friendly choices to bade them a goodbye? We all know the problems with burial – we’re fast running out of physical space to bury entire bodies, and once they’re underground, all the chemicals used for the embalming process, including formaldehyde, phenol, methanol, and glycerin, seep out into the soil.
Toxic chemicals from the embalming, burial, and cremation process leach into the air and soil, and expose funeral workers to potential hazards. The best way is to allow your body to feed the earth in a way that is sustainable for future generations. Sensing the need of hour Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim has devised a social awareness campaign to tackle this problem. Who could ever thought the left over bones and ashes after cremation can be used to nurture the environment rather than polluting the rivers? We owe it to Saint Ram Rahim’s visionary leadership that has galvanized the masses to save what saves us-the environment. After setting world records in plantation and massive cleanliness drives, devising ingenious water-reuse, water saving techniques and optimal green energy solutions, now Saint Ram Rahim has given a wake-up call to rise above the myths and to grow trees on the left over bones and ashes after cremation rather than poisoning the rivers.
Why growing trees on bone ash is best way of disposal: While the actual ashes are in fact sterile, by mixing it with other materials that are high in nutrients, you can still grow something from them. With high amounts of calcium and phosphorus ash has always been good for soil and the potassium can actually encourage the growth of many plants and trees as well as help resist disease in saplings.
Trees are the lungs of our planet. The more trees we plant, the cleaner our air for generations to come. If you want the memory of your loved ones to live on you can now immortalize them as a tree. Instead of it being ‘the end of life’ it would become a ‘return to life’ if you do this.
इस लेख को हिंदी में पढने के लिए इस लिंक पर क्लिक करें:
अब अस्थियों से होगा पर्यावरण संरक्षण