Ganga Connect exhibition in UK invites Indian diaspora to restore, conserve holy river
Monday 15 November 2021 8:11 AM UTC
CARDIFF Nov 15: The Ganga Connect exhibition was inaugurated at Cardiff University on Friday by Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales and Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to the UK.
Organized jointly by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), C-Ganga, and the High Commission of India, the Ganga Connect is a global exhibition and an outreach platform that will showcase the multiple facets of the river system and connect with a range of interested partners.
In a press release, the NMCG said the exhibition offers a clear and deep understanding of the size, magnitude and complexity of the Ganga river ecosystem.
“It put a spotlight on a range of solutions being developed and implemented and shared a status update and execution timeline of the programme. The exhibition also illustrates the deep spiritual and philosophical connect that Indians have with the river”, said the NMCG.
The release added, “The exhibition also enables engagement with interested parties and the diaspora who want to get involved in the rejuvenation, restoration and conservation of the river system”.
In his keynote address, the Mark Drakeford MS said that borders are irrelevant in the climate crises and impacts cannot be mitigated by individual countries acting alone, with international collaboration being the only way forward.
Indian High Commissioner Gaitri Issar Kumar highlighted how Indians revere the Ganges and shared the high priority which the Government of India places upon the Namami Gange mission.
She further commented how the Namami Gange mission brings together public policy, technology intervention and community participation to revive and rejuvenate River Ganga. The exhibition also marked the annual Diwali celebrations, which is a must-go-to event for the strong diaspora community in Wales.
The First Minister and the High Commissioner were given a tour and explanation of various aspects of the Ganga rejuvenation programme by Ashok Kumar, Executive Director (Projects) NMCG and Sanmit Ahuja, Expert Member, c-Ganga.
The scientific roundtable was also hosted by The Water Research Institute, which is part of the Gw4 Water Alliance, which is the largest water-focused initiative in the UK comprising Universities of Cardiff, Bath, Bristol and Exeter.
The following key areas of potential collaboration were discussed:
Transforming Indian cities into liveable cities
Water budgets and pollution in the Ganga river basin
River ecosystem studies in Wales
The Himalayas climate change and the Indian monsoon
Biodiversity profiles of river systems, threats to them, and conservation measures
Hydrology of environmental ecosystems
Using large systems and programmes to accelerate applied innovation
Water Research Institute hosts scientific roundtable
Several companies with innovative technologies and solutions participated in another roundtable dedicated to business and industry and learned about the Environment Technology Verification (ETV) process run by Ganga under the auspices of NMCG to bring new innovations to market. The Water Research Institute, which is part of the Gw4 Water Alliance, hosted the scientific roundtable as well.
The Gw4 Water Alliance is the largest water-focused initiative in the UK, comprising the Universities of Cardiff, Bath, Bristol, and Exeter. Detailed presentations were given on a wide range of topics, including the management of Indian river basins, biodiversity, the impact of climate change on monsoon rainfall, and the implications for river basin management.
Sanmit Ahuja moderated the discussion, which was led by Ashok Kumar Singh. NMCG, according to Ashok Kumar Singh, encourages innovation and technology. The companies presented a variety of innovative solutions such as waste biorefining, waste to hydrogen, advanced techniques to eliminate sludge production in wastewater treatment, novel materials that act as highly efficient filter media, and agricultural yield enhancers. To commemorate the special occasion of the Ganga Connect exhibition’s opening, Cardiff Castle flew the Indian flag alongside the Welsh flag and was draped in the Tri-Colour in the evening.