“A cadre of motivated volunteers from the local community”


Ganga Praharis are 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.


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 Ganga River and reduce direct dependency of local communities on the river, the National Mission for Clean Ganga- Wildlife Institute of India (NMCG-WII) project ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ involved members of the local community as hereafter, called the “Ganga Praharis - Guardians of the river”.

Ganga Praharis are primarily volunteers from local communities conserving with the objective of aquatic life by maintaining the river’s Aviral and Nirmal Dhara. The creation of this cadre was visualized in the framework of participatory conservation efforts, where people involved in the process usually live in communities with considerable social cohesion and regularly work together on shared projects of community concerns. 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 could 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.


Ganga Praharis have been identified through series of site level consultative meetings and workshops held in villages located on the bank of the Ganga River and it’s select tributaries. Focus is made to identify motivated individuals who can mobilize others in River conservation efforts. The local communities, have been approached through other agencies too 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 etc. to identify the potential Ganga Praharis. The primary criterion for identification is their passion and zeal to serve the river and to maintain its integrity in terms of cleanliness and biodiversity value. These ‘Praharis’ have to be above 18 years of age on the date of joining the project and preferably from the river side villages. Children below 18 years of age are enrolled under the Bal Ganga Praharis programme.