3Ps (Population, Poverty and Pollution) and the Pious Poor Ganga Dr Niraj Kumar

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Dr Niraj Kumar

The National Academy of Sciences, India  (NASI), Allahabad

An Epilogue

From times immemorial, the Ganges has been India's river of faith, devotion and worship. No other river in the world is so closely identified with the cultural ethos of a country as the Ganges is with India. It is a life-line, a symbol of purity and virtue for millions of people living on its bank, representing their ethos, socio-scientific culture and identity in every forum, not just in India, but in the entire world. The river Ganges occupies an unique position in the cultural ethos of India. Legend says that the river has descended from heaven to the earth as a result of the long and arduous prayers of King Bhagirath for the salvation (Moksha) of his deceased ancestors. But the holy (mokshadayani) river Ganges’s existence is itself under threat, due to enormous load of population and subsequent pollution year by year. Further, the role of poverty as a catalyst leading to manifold increase in the dimension of this menace (both the uncontrolled population and pollution) cannot be ignored or overlooked.