Sachin-Tendulkar-may-become-the -new- face -of- National- Mission- for- Clean -Ganga
NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar may be the new face of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, which has taken a cue from the Prime Minister’s Office to prepare a mega campaign to sensitise(संवेदीकरण) people about the need to reduce pollution in the holy(पवित्र) river. Officials said talks are on to appoint the cricket icon as the brand ambassador of the mission to help spread the message. This comes amid a barrage of criticism over the ineffectiveness of the mission, as the pollution levels in the Ganga have scarcely improved according to most assessments, even as there has been some visible improvement on the ghats along the river. "We are in talks with Sachin Tendulkar to help us take the campaign to the people. His office has indicated that he is agreeable (सहमत) to the idea.
We hope to launch the campaign next month itself," a senior NMCG official told ET on condition of anonymity(अशांत होने की अवस्था).
Queries emailed by ET to Tendulkar’s office did not elicit any response till late evening on Wednesday evening.
Officials said the campaign will unfold across all media formats. The NMCG is in talks with various agencies to formulate the finer elements of the campaign, which will seek to bring home the need for a concerted public effort towards desisting from adding any pollutants to the river.
The mission is among the top priorities of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in Lok Sabha, is himself deeply committed to it. The PMO is now closely monitoring progress on the mission, with weekly meetings being held with the NMCG to ensure that some results are visible by 2018, ahead of the next general election.
The government is of the view that apart from sustained effort to fasttrack the project on specific outcomes, especially to check industrial and sewage (गंदे नाले) related water pollution, there is a pressing need to build a public momentum and a sense of citizen ownership of the mission.
The campaign apart, the NMCG is set to unveil a series of events around the Ganga to create a "visible buzz" around the mission. A Ganga Yatra on the lines of the ‘Narmada Yatra’ launched by Madhya Pradesh Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is on the agenda but in a shorter format. An NMCG team will visit Madhya Pradesh soon to study the Narmada Yatra and its impact, officials said.
Next month onwards, events and activities around the Ganga Dussehra, Ganga Ekadashi and a Char Dham yatra are also being planned to generate public interest.
Another version of Ganga manthan, which was earlier held soon after the Modi government took office and Uma Bharti was allocated the water resources ministry and the Ganga mission, is also in the works to build greater consensus on the programme with all stakeholders.