(Jan.15, 2003)

Under the joint aegis of EcoFriends and Yog Jyoti India, a nukkad natak (street play) was staged along several ghats including Shuklaganj and Dabka ghat on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 15, 2002. A mammoth crowd of devotees and ghat people gathered to see the play with rapt attention. Titled ‘Ganga Ki Pukar’, the play tried to convey the message that Ganga has been defiled and profaned to such a point that it has lost its self-purification power. Written and directed by Shibu Khan, the play showed how the masses have contributed to the contamination of river Ganga by dumping corpses and domestic waste. And how Mother Ganga pines for its past sacred state. While applauding the play, the masses said that they would like to join hands with EcoFriends to help the cause of Ganga depollution.

Besides the play, EcoFriends team of Ganga Prahari held a series of programmes to generate awareness about the increasing pollution in the river. The EcoFriends team visited Massacre ghat, Sarsaiya ghat, Bhagwatdas ghat, Chandan ghat and Dabka ghat on boats and using loudspeakers urged the devotees to play their vital role in keeping the Ganga clean. They also distributed pamphlets to the people on these ghats. These pamphlets made the citizens realize that overfamiliarity breeds a taken-for-granted attitude. And it is because of this attitude, the Ganga has lost its glory and has been polluted beyond recognition. The members of EcoFriends told the people that they should stop immersing idols made of toxic paints and polybags containing carcinogenic material in the river.

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