Inaugural Function of GANGA GALLERY

on 15 April 2011

 Inaugurated by Hon’ble Science & Technology Minister

Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal

On April 15th 2011, Union Science and Technology Minister Hon`ble Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the scientifically installed magnificent and aesthetic Ganga-gallery. The gallery has been established by The National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), in order to create awareness amongst the people relating to the sustainability, conservation and restoration of our sacred river Ganga. The gallery highlights the cultural, religious, economic, socio-scientific and related aspects of the river Ganga. The idea of establishing such an unique gallery was mooted by Prof. MGK Menon ,Prof. M.S.Swaminathan and Dr.(Mrs) Manju Sharma (Past Presidents, NASI) realizing the role and responsibilities of NASI (situated in the holy city Prayag) to preserve and conserve Ganga for restoring the pristine properties of Ganga-jal.

 

Prof. A.K.Sharma, President, NASI welcomed the guests. He thanked for the efforts of Prof. Menon and Prof. (Mrs) Sharma in establishing the gallery, the first of its kind in our country.

 

Prof. (Mrs) Sharma explained with beautiful illustration the attributes of Ganga-gallery equipped with landscapes and sculptures, animated models, multimedia graphics and designs, current hydro-biological data, information about the myths and legends connected to the origin and voyage of the holy river, and its traditional galore. She categorically emphasized gangetic ecosystem, climate change and its impact on the Ganga basin, soil characteristics, Gangetic-dolphins, Sunderbans, water properties and its monitoring, need and importance of sewage treatment plants in curbing the menace of pollution etc.

 

Further, Prof. Asis Datta, Immediate Past President, NASI, presented the salient features of the brochure on Ganga-gallery; which was later on released by the Chief Guest Hon’ble Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal.

 

Sri G.S.Rautela, Director-General of NCSM, Kolkata explained about the making of Ganga-Gallery and urged the Hon’ble Minister to extend his help in having a mobile van museum for NASI to further spread the message of gallery even in the remotest areas all along the course of river. 

 

Former Union Minister of Science & Technology and Advisor, New Initiatives of NASI,  Prof. MGK Menon recalling the words of  Prof. Saha, Founder President-NASI, about the role of the Academy in spreading awareness for eradication of social evils to ensure the scientific development, exhorted the youth to come forward to preserve and maintain the ecological balance, especially for the Gangetic ecosystem. The CD of the Documentary Film on Ganga prepared by Prof. B.D.Tripathi was also released by Prof. MGK Menon.

 

Hon’ble Minister Shri Bansal, in his inaugural address highlighted the importance of the holy river Ganges, describing her as the life-line, a symbol of purity and virtue for millions of people, not only for those living on its banks but from all over the country because the Ganges represents their ethos, culture & identity in every form. The Ganges, like many rivers of world sustains a diverse flora & fauna, which not only help in maintaining the pristine purity of water, but also serve as a resource for more than 450 million people living in its basin.  The water of river Ganges – Gangajal – does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage, whereas water from other sources begins to putrefy as lack of oxygen promotes the growth of anaerobic bacteria; but today these attributes are only the reminiscence of the great heritage. The present situation is unfortunately different. Due to indifference towards environment and diminishing ethical values, river Ganges and its basin have been treated by people as a huge reservoir for dumping the wastes; and this has been happening over several decades. Dumping of plastic bags, plastic containers, mineral water bottles, cans, rubbers & plastics, partly dissolved faeces, soaps and detergents, medical waste and several other articles in the river has defaced the Ganges. Industrial growth along the banks has generated enormous waste, which conveniently and thoughtlessly is discharged into the river. Such exogenic activities have robbed the river of its pristine glory and sacredness.  A collective action from all the stakeholders, the people and the state is, therefore needed to bring “Ganga” to its original glory. Therefore, NASI has made a remarkable and laudable effort by establishing the Ganga Gallery- a unique endeavor, perhaps not seen for any other river in the world.

 

In the end of the session Prof. J P Khurana General Secretary (OS) felicitated the dignitaries on the dais and Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary (HQ) proposed the vote-of-thanks.

 

After the inauguration, more than 250 people including the Council Members, Fellows and Members, and others visited the gallery, interacting with the dynamic exhibits to learn many facts and figures; and finally they took oath to conserve the river before leaving the gallery.