Mundamal Parikrama an unparalleled Walkathon for clean Ganga.

By Anwesha Chakravorty

The water of Ganges has bestowed as the blessing over Indian Civilization by making life prosperous. It is not far from the truth to say that, the Ganga courses through our bloodstreams. India’s holiest yet ancient, River Ganga, being the symbol of divinity, spirituality and purity lies mostly wasted yet dawned with pollution today.  Hence, an overwhelming step, taken by ‘Atulya Ganga Mundama Parikrama Walkers’, to create a remarkable history in adventure with a noble purpose of rejuvenating our holy Ganges to its pristine glory, with the slogans “Zero Tolerance of water” or “Sabka Saath Ho, Ganga Saaf Ho”, under the initiative of  a group of Indian Army veterans.

‘Mundamal Ganga Parikrama’ is India’s biggest walkathon with the sole motive to clean Ganga while, circumnavigating the river. The parikrama started from 16th December 2020, which plans to continue for eleven years (2020-2030). A group of six walkers commenced their journey from Prayagraj to reach Ganga Sagar where the river merges into the sea, goes to the other side of the Ganges, trek back to Gomukh and end their journey at Allahabad. The walkers are predicting to cover around 6000+ Kilometers in this “Mundamal Parikrama”. While commencing the trek the pedestrians are followed by the logistic team car, which moves with all essential commodities to provide food and other necessary supports for the team.

It is believed that the initiative lies on the three pillars. The first stands to be the Parikrama and collection of various samples of soil including the circumnavigation of River Ganga.

Speaking to News Sense, Rohit Umrao, freelance, Photojournalist from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and one of the walker said – “As Maa kali wears garland of severed human heads (Mundamala), likewise, the walkers in the parikrama are considered as heads trekking along the bank of the river starting from Prayagraj to Gangasagar, then after Gomukh at the Himalayas and end at Allahabad creating a circular garland. This never done before initiative is helping to trigger social awareness to keep Ganga clean and in collecting sample for providing data to the Government for future research on this context.

The very next pillar is of pollution mapping in River Ganga. During the parikrama, the team will Geo tag all the sources of pollution in the river and will measure pollution at critical points. This team performs water sampling from the main stream at the centre point of the river. After which, with the help of a mobile kit, the team separates all the chemical elements from the collected sample and save the data for the future use.

The third team is Vrikshamal Team, trying to make this adventurous journey more meaningful by incorporating social cause through planting trees. They will also carry out a plantation drive of Banyan, Neem, and Peepal trees. The team is visiting various schools, villages where they are proceeding with the plantation drive. Hence, after one year, these common people will send back the picture of the tree to the team. This is a small initiative to raise awareness for a stable, eco-friendly environment.

We are trying to trigger awareness among the youth and citizens to keep Ganga clean and free from pollution. This small dynamism is to draw people support , which can only help us to be successful in our ingenuity. We will submit all our collected data and facts to the Government as well. This will act as a back bone for creating a secure and pollution free environment in future.” Said Umrao. 

Standing in the 21st century world, India still lacks an environmental temper. Pollution and global warming are escalating at an alarming speed. It’s the duty of Indian youth to take charge of the situation before it goes completely out of hand. This project highlights not only to make River Ganga pollution free but also takes charge to make mother nature breathe once again.