Pporitection off River Ganga
Rivers are the lifeline of Indian society. The River Ganga is worshiped as ‘Ganga Mad or Mother Ganga. Earlier, the Government of India had taken number of initiatives to protect and clean the river, but found to be unsuccessful.
Through involving the Local People
The SB has been making such efforts in a few villages in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district. Part of a wider ‘Living Ganga’ project of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), within two years the model of linking villagers to river protection has raised hopes of being replicated on a larger scale.
The project takes a much wider view of river protection and also tries to establish linkages between river protective work and viNagers’ livelihood. Based on this understanding, SB has focused attention on mainly four activities :
Firstly, it has promoted organic farming practices so that there has been a substantial reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides. The use of a harmless pest-repellant ‘amrit pani’, a safe alternative to chemical Pesticides, has picked up substantially.
Secondly, SB with the help of a Delhi based organisation has taken up the work of water conservation and recharge. Two wetlands in Harnu village — Sagara and Nau — had been depleted in recent years due to neglect and over-extraction of water for irrigation. These have been cleaned, deepened and repaired. What is , the village gram sabha has passed a resolution that to Maintain the water-level, recharge capacity of the wetlands and attract migratory water birds water will not be taken from here for irrigation.
Thirdly, a slope was provided at the time of digging work in Sagra wetland so that birds with different preferences for water height can all feel comfortable. A raised island has been created in the middle of this wetland .which can be a safe haven for birds. As a part of the water conservation and recharge efforts, 41 recharge bores and 4 check walls have been constructed in four villages.
And lastly, efforts are being made to build on the improved moisture and water retention by increasing greenery in the village, particularly in the area around the wetlands. Selected villagers have been helped to set up nurseries from where villagers can buy plants easily and at a cheap rate