Clean Ganga Project: Amma donates Rs 100 Crore for construction of toilets
Indian spiritual leader and humanitarian Mata Amritanandamayi, popularly known as ‘Amma’, donated Rs. 100 crores ($15 million) to support Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign and Namami Gange (Clean Ganges) project.
She presented Arun Jaitley, the Minister of Finance of India with a cheque of Rs100 crore; the amount will be used for construction of toilets in poverty stricken villages that surround Ganges River. The donation, as ‘Amma’ claims, will help millions of Indian citizens by decreasing life-threatening diseases stemming from contaminated water sources, caused by widespread open defecation.
“This project will provide much-needed amenities to those who truly need them. Along with construction, education is also required. The villagers need to be taught that open defecation leads to water and soil pollution, which further contaminates food and leads to many types of parasitic infections,”
said Amma while presenting the cheque.
Along with donation, Amma’s organization, Embracing the World, will make efforts to educate people and create awareness regarding the use of toilets. Another donation worth same amount (Rs 100 Crore) is due to be announced later in the month, at Amma’s birthday celebration.
Appreciating ‘Amma’s’ gesture for protection of the environment, Arun Jaitley said,
“This is a gigantic step that Amma has taken today – both a material and symbolic message to the world who is concerned about the Ganga. More important than 100 crores is when a saint of the relevance of Amma takes a step in this direction, it sends a message across the world-not merely in India-that everyone who is committed to this great cause should contribute to it.”
Earlier, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, had a discussion with Amma during her visit to Delhi in March 2015. She had praised and extended support to India’s largest environmental and cleanliness campaign to date.
Under this drive, India has an aim to build sanitary toilets for more than 60 million homes by 2019. The PM had flagged off the clean India campaign last year on October 2.
The water pollution in Ganges River due to unchecked and untreated toxic industrial discharge and open defecation has become a gigantic trouble for India. Over 40 percent of Indian population depends of Ganges for water supply. The alarming level of contamination of water is posing threat not only the ecology, but to the health of millions of Indians.
Indian government has already spent hundreds of thousands of rupees in a quest to clean Ganges, but has failed miserably.
Under such circumstances, such a gigantic step by Amma is being hailed as great material and symbolic message to everyone who is worried about Ganges. The government hopes that more people would realize their duty to keep their holy river clean and contribute toward the goal of clean India.