Ganga River Essay

Ganga Essay

LifeStraw® Educator's Guide: Down the River Connection ©2012 The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. All rights reserved.


Although the river water in Luis's neighborhood is highly polluted, he is fortunate to drink from and bathe in filtered, piped water. In cities around the world, particularly in Asia, citizens have no choice but to bathe in and drink from foul rivers, such as the Ganges in India. Have students observe photos of the Ganges River, and discuss how the experience of those living near the Ganges might differ from those living by the Bronx River.

"The Ganga, especially, is the river of India beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and her fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India's age long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever flowing and yet ever the same Ganga." Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, 1889 - 1964

Nearly 70% of all the water available in India is polluted. And much of that water is found in the Ganges river. The Ganges or Ganga is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, flowing east through northern India, Nepal and into Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western

Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India, and drains into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges begins at the Gangotri Glacier in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, in the central Himalayas, a glacier that experts say is shrinking at an alarming rate. As many people live along the Ganges delta as live in all of Europe; it flows through 29 cities (with population over 100,000), 70 towns and thousands of villages. About 400 million people- almost one-third of the country's population- live in the Ganges river basin, and the river provides water for 40 percent of India's population. (

The Ganges is considered a holy river by the Hindus, and is worshiped as the goddess Ganga. More than 80 percent of Indians are followers of the Hindu religion, and they believe the Ganges has the power to cleanse the soul, so bathing in it is a holy ritual. And many Indians live and work by the river, bathing, drinking, swimming, laundering clothes. Author Santha Rama Rau

©1997 WHO/UNEP ISBN 0 419 22910 8 1 study1.pdf

LifeStraw® Educator's Guide: Down the River Connection ©2012 The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. All rights reserved.



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Introduction: The Ganga or the Ganges is the longest river in India. River Ganga originates from the Gangotri in the Himalayas. Then, it flows through the major areas of Northern India and undivided Bengal; it had met the Bay of Bengal. Thus, it traversed a long distance of 2525 km; and it covers 861404 sq km areas of its basin.

Hindus in India regard the river, Ganga as a goddess. They firmly believe that the holy water of this river possesses the sanctifying virtues. The civilization and the cultural life of North and Eastern India flowered and flourished in the basin of the Ganga.

Clean Ganga: Our Government is taking active interest in cleaning the water of Ganga River. A clean Ganga fund has also been set up to collect funds that would be used in various activities relating to the rejuvenation of Ganga River. Few of them are mentioned below:

  • To carry out the activities of ‘Namami Ganga’ programme.
  • To control Ganga water pollution.
  • Waste and disposal treatment plants should be set up.
  • Redevelopment of Ghats
  • R&D projects for cleaning the river, etc.

What Factors have contributed to the pollution of the Ganga waters?

The erosion of the banks is a permanent feature; and this fact has been constantly making the waters muddy, full of dirt, and filthy. Large portions of its banks are protected with trees and forests; and the remaining parts are, obviously, battered by erosion.

Secondly, many towns and cities are located in the Ganga basin; and the decomposed substances, both organic and inorganic, of them find their last refuge in the waters of the Ganga.

Thirdly, the vast areas in the Ganga basin have been occupied by industrial complexes. The textile, leather, plastic, and rubber factories of these places have been exhausting their poisonous effluents to the Ganga; and the sewage disposals of the chemical plants have been playing havoc with the process.

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