GANGA PRAHARI

GUARDIANS OF THE GANGA

 “A cadre of self motivated volunteers from the local community”

GANGA PRAHARI

Ganga Praharis are self-motivated and trained volunteers from among the local communities working for biodiversity conservation and cleanliness of the Ganga River with the ultimate objectives of restoring the Nirmal and Aviral Dhara.


PROGRAMME BACKGROUND

The biodiversity of the Ganga River is under stress due to reduced water availability, habitat degradation, pollution, and unsustainable resource extraction. To conserve the ecological integrity of the Ganga River, and, reduce the direct dependency of the local communities on the river, the National Mission for Clean Ganga-Wildlife Institute of India (NMCG-WII) project ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ is involving members of the local community in the five Ganga states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) as guardians of the river who will henceforth be known as Ganga Praharis.

The aim of this initiative is to establish a motivated cadre of “Ganga Prahari” to support the local level institutions and monitor the quality of the natural resources of the river by mobilizing local communities at the grassroots level. This can be achieved by:

 

Creating awareness about the benefits of a clean and vibrant Ganga and create a sense of belongingness among people towards the Ganga River.


Linking local communities and their livelihoods with the overall efforts of various agencies working for a clean Ganga, and thereby, creating a convergence point at grass roots level for such efforts.


Linking local people’s livelihood and well-being with a clean and vibrant Ganga.


PROCESS OF IDENTIFICATION

The Ganga Praharis have been identified through a series of site level consultative meetings and workshops held in select villages, located on the bank of the Ganga River, in all the five Ganga states. Focus has been made to identify self-motivated individuals who can mobilize others in Ganga conservation efforts. Additionally, the local communities, have been approached through other agencies like State Forest Departments, Educational Institutes, National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS) Mahila Mangal Dal, Yuva Mangal Dal, Nehru Yuva Kendras and Ganga Vichar Manch, in order to identify the potential Ganga Praharis at some sites. To ensure a fair and just representation of youth from all the districts and villages located along the Ganga River, one to one discussion were held with the prospective candidates. The primary criterion for identification in a candidate is passion and zeal to serve the Ganga River for maintaining its integrity in terms of its cleanliness and biodiversity value. These ‘Praharis’ have to be above 18 years of age on the date of joining the project, preferably from the Ganga River side villages. The younger school students, too, have been recruited for Bal Ganga Praharis which will be launched soon.