Vivek Oberoi pledges to keep Ganga clean
Times of India – 26th February, 2013
Actor Vivek Oberoi, who is actively involved in philanthropy, has pledged to build bio-digester toilets as part of clean Ganga campaign.
The actor is the brand ambassador of Ganga Action Plan, which aims to clean the river.
“I am so glad to be part of such an important initiative, which not only helps to keep Ganga clean but which also is a seva (service) for all of our mothers and sisters – of every age – who don’t have access to toilets and must brave the jungles and rapists in the dark of night. Giving our women the dignity they deserve is our duty,” Vivek said in a statement.
The campaign has been initiated by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, founder of Ganga Action Parivar.
Vivek was in Allahabad with family for the Mahakumbh and along with his mother Yashodhara Oberoi he performed a ceremonial bhoomi puja for bricks to be used in the eco-friendly bio-digester toilet complexes.
Toilet complexes are being made across Uttarakhand, and plans are underway for constructing these in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The two toilet complexes sponsored by Vivek will be located in Allahabad and Badrinath. They are being built in partnership with Ganga Action Parivar, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Swami Chidanada also showed a film that revealed how lack of proper toilet facilities is not only a major factor contributing to pollution of the Ganga, the Yamuna and other rivers, but is also a source of violence against women, and fear and illnesses in them.
According to Chidanand, the programe is an answer to problems faced by the Ganga, the Yamuna and the young girls and women living on their banks.
“Every time we drive and I see women and girls having to jump up in the middle of answering nature’s calls due to shame of passing cars, it hurts my heart and I feel that we are inflicting great physical and emotional violence against our ‘Matri Shakti’ by not providing them with safe, available places to go to the toilet,” he said.
“Also, lack of toilets is one of the main reasons for young girls dropping out of school, so we are committed to building toilets in schools so they can continue their studies,” he added.