World Water Day : Ganga Action Parivar Joins the United Nations in Celebrations
World Water Day was celebrated in a thoughtful and festive ceremony this March on the beautiful banks of the Ganga River. The celebrations, organized by Ganga Action Parivar and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, were dedicated to the theme of saving energy to save water.
Explained Pujya Swamiji, founder of Ganga Action Parivar, “We are always taking from our water sources, such as the Ganga, and as a result, they are becoming increasingly dryer and tragically polluted to the point where some of our water bodies can no longer support life. The celebrations today send a message that now is the time to conserve water, to keep our rivers clean, and to give back to nature. For all of our lives, water has nourished us as a mother nourishes a child. Now, just as an adult child would care for his elderly parents, we must also do the same for the rivers, lakes and other aquifers that have given us so much.”
At the onset of the celebrations, a special water blessing ceremony took place in which participants from all over the world offered the waters of the sacred river Ganga to a large globe in a collective prayer that everyone, everywhere, should have access to sufficient, safe and life-giving water.
A grand procession was next held in which women took the lead, carrying decorative pots of water atop their heads as they journeyed to the Ganga River. On the banks of Ganga, the water was offered to the sound of Vedic hymns for peace.
Said Sadhvi Bhagawatiji, of Ganga Action Parivar, “just as we sacrifice our time, our energy, and our strength in the protection of our countries and in the protection of our own lives, it is now time to use that same energy, strength and commitment to protect the life of our planet through protection of our water bodies and forests. Thus, today let us all raise our hands in a pledge to protect and preserve forests, water and energy to bring about true world peace.” She led all the participants in a pledge to use their time, energy, expertise and experience to help protect the water bodies and the forests wherever they live, in all countries across the globe.
The theme for this year’s United Nations’ World Water Day, “Water and Energy,” was declared by the United Nations out of concern for the enormous strain that conventional energy production places on our world’s diminishing water supplies.
According to the United Nations, energy production accounts for some 15% of water extracted worldwide. Unless changes are made, this is expected to rise to 55% by 2050, increasing the risks of conflicts between using water for energy versus conserving water to sustain life.
During the World Water Day event, bio-toilets were showcased by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance as important answers to our world’s increasing water and energy needs. Technologies, such as the Bio-Digester system, convert all human waste into clear water for use in agriculture. They also produce bio-gas, which potentially can be used to power homes, communities and even automobiles.