Seventeen-year-old Shantanu Adhicary is a 12th
class student of Sheiling House School, Kanpur. His honest and
committed efforts as a Ganga Ambassador made us to delve deep
into his mind.
Here is what we found out after interviewing him.
Where did you spend your childhood?
grew up in the once-green ambience of Azad Nagar, Kanpur. When
I was a child we had territories of our own where we could play.
Now the vehicular traffic and mushrooming apartments have left
us with no space.
How did you get inclined towards
came naturally to me. Since standard fourth I have been taking
part in exhibitions related to pollution issues. I think I have
responded to the changing atmosphere. The problems that I saw
being created by increasing traffic fleet, drinking water contamination,
consumption of pan masala and smoking forced me to think about
How do you see the changes taking place in Kanpur?
think Kanpur has progressed industrially. But morally and environmentally
there has been a downslide. The people here have detached themselves
from nature and environment.
the surface, vehicular traffic has increased manifold, garbage
dumps have also mushroomed and the pan masala culture has taken
the Kanpurites in its grip.
What do you think about Ganga?
I used to go to the Ganga for Durga idol visarjan, I used to take
note of the pollution in Ganga. Then I had a chance to visit the
pollution hotspots of Ganga when Eco Friends organised a two-day
workshop on October 23-24, 2002. I was really alarmed to see the
sorry state of the river. Eco Friends revealed to me something
which I couldn’t have discovered on my own. It showed to
me the Sisamau drain, the TB drain finding its way into Ganga
and the condition of water intake point near Bhairon ghat.
Whom do you blame for the sorry
picture of Ganga today?
ourselves are to be blamed as much as are the industries. We throw
garbage, polybags and toxic-laden idols in it and these go a long
way in polluting the river. Today, it has become very important
that the faith people associate with Ganga should be used in such
a way that they start realising that their religious practices
are actually polluting the river.
What do you feel about Eco Friends
concept of Ganga Ambassador?
is a very good concept. Actually, the good thing about this is
that we children feel important as we are entrusted with a major
responsibility. The badge of Ganga Ambassador, the very name enthuses
us to work towards safeguarding the Ganga from pollution.
But I also
feel that these badges have been given to children who do not
deserve wearing it. They hardly think about the Ganga.
According to you, what is the role
of Ganga Ambassadors?
spread the message of protecting Ganga from pollution. Ganga Ambassadors
cannot go about picking up polybags floating on the river or retrieving
dead bodies. But they can ask their families and their neighbourhoods
not to profane the Ganga by throwing garbage into it. Even if
you are able to change one person, it would make a difference
far do you think you have been successful in spreading the message
of Ganga depollution as a Ganga Ambassador?
think I am performing my duty as a Ganga Ambassador pretty well.
I have been trying to mobilise my friends and teachers from other
schools to join the movement of Eco Friends. Whenever I am campaigning
for Eco Friends, I ask people what they think about the Ganga
pollution and tell them how they can contribute in making Ganga
How does environmental protection
figure in the career that you would pursue in the future?
affects us all wherever we are. So whichever career I pursue,
I will endeavour to incorporate environmental protection in it
and make it a top priority.