HARIDWAR: Scores of writers and activists from across the country will converge in Kolkata on June 1 only to embark on a fortnight-long journey to Gangotri, during which they will sensitise people about the plight of the Ganga River and ask them to do their bit to save it from pollution.
To mark the Ganga ‘pakhawara’ (fortnight) from June 1 to 15, the writers will hold a seminar in Kolkata on June 1 before starting on the 15-day journey to Gangotri, the origin of the Ganga river.
“During the journey, they will stop at several places to sensitise people about the condition the Ganga River and ask them to do their bit to save the river,” said Sameer Varan Nandi, one of the writers from Haridwar who is taking part in the campaign.
The yatra will reach Haridwar on June 8. On their way back from Gangotri, they will reach Haridwar on June 14.
They will hold a seminar at the Matri Sadan ashram in the city on June 15, the sixth death anniversary of Swami Nigamanand.
The seer died during the course of a prolonged fast in protest against the damage being done to Ganga due to illegal mining.
“Nigamanand’s sacrifice and their own concern for the river was the rallying point for the writers of about half-a-dozen states to take part in the campaign,” Nandi said.
The writers include Kedarnath Singh and Ganga Prasad Vimal from Delhi, Jaya Moitra of Kolkata, Agni Shekhar from Jammu and Kashmir, Dhruv Gupt of Patna, Pushpa Patel from Madhya Pradesh among others. Environmentalist M C Mehta and Garhwali singer Narendra Singh Negi will also take part in the journey.
Nilay Upadhyaya, one of the organisers, said that the mission to clean Ganga cannot be achieved only through the government efforts.
“It will need people’s participation on a massive scale. That is why the group of literary persons, artists, environmentalists and social activists have decided to launch a mass awakening campaign,” he added.
The stopovers of the yatra will be at Murshidabad, Bhagalpur, Patna, Allahabad, Kanpur and Kannauj.