Preservation of Ganga, environment & culture foundation of India's development: President

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Varanasi, Mar 15 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said that the preservation and promotion of the river Ganga, environment and culture is the foundation for development of India.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the Jagran Forum on 'Ganga, Environment and Culture' organised by Hindi daily Dainik Jagran here, President Kovind pointed out that holding discussions on such issues are not only relevant, but it also helps us ensure people's participation and pave the way for the development of the mankind.

'The sanctity of the Ganga in our life is utmost. It teaches us that our minds, words and deeds should be pure like Ganga water,' he said, according to a statement.

The President said that the cleanliness of the Ganga denotes that 'we live with a pure heart. Its eternity carries the message of continuity in life'.

It would not be appropriate to consider the Ganga just a river as it is the lifeline of the Indian culture and the carrier of spirituality and faith, he said.

'There is a belief in our country that all the rivers of India have essence of the Ganga. Many devotees take Ganga-water from India and pour it into the rivers abroad, thereby connecting those rivers with their faith.

'The Ganga connects Indians of every corner of the world with their motherland and with the culture and tradition of our country. The Ganga is, therefore, the identity of the people of India,' Kovind said.

He said that protection and promotion of environment and culture in India can happen only when the Ganga remains uninterrupted and clean.

The area of the Ganga and its tributaries is spread over 11 states. According to an estimate, the region is inhabited by 43 per cent of the country's population.

Therefore, water conservation in the Ganga River Basin and reducing flood and erosion in this area are of prime importance, he said.

'Keeping Ganga clean, preserving the environment and enriching our culture and heritage is not only the duty of governments but also the social and individual responsibility of all citizens.

'This thinking needs to be adopted and assimilated at a nationwide level,' Kovind said. PTI CPS SKL TIR TIR