Ganga Swachhata Pakhwada in Bihar

As part of Namami Gange initiative, a "Ganga Swacchata Pakhwada" (16-31 March) was observed by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Ministry of Water Resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India. The pakhwada was conducted as awareness campaign to invite citizens to come together and contribute towards keeping river Ganga clean. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) was designated as nodal agency by NMCG to conduct this campaign along Ganga covering prime cities and towns.

Pakhwada observed along 5 Ganga basin States covering Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal where around 17 cities and towns were covered for conducting awareness activities. Pakhwada began from Allahabad on 16 March and concluded on 31 March at Haridwar.

The 16 days long Pakhwada was planned as a wide array of awareness and action activities. Events aimed at sensitizing and encouraging people's participation in the mammoth task of cleaning river Ganga and its ghat. At each location, various events such as ganga samvaad/chaupal, awareness rally, shramdaan, nukkad natak, cultural evening, signature/pledge campaign, etc. on different ghats were organized.

In Bihar events were conducted in two locations - Patna and Bhagalpur. In Patna, pakhwada event saw events like competitions, ganga chaupal, seminar, cultural evening, shram daan. Events were done at Gandhi and Barharva Ghats where cultural evening, shram daan, padyatra, ganga chaupal was conducted. Cultural evening at Gandhi Ghat was inaugurated by Deputy Director General, NMCG; Advisor, National Water Mission; Member CGWB, Municipal Commissioner, Patna, Regional Director, CGWB, SPMG Bihar and other dignitaries were present. Dance, songs, skits, and other forms were presented on the theme of Clean Ganga. Pakhwada activities concluded in a seminar where Head, Patna University, Leader-Opposition, Bihar Assembly, officials from Bihar State Pollution Control Board, Bihar Forest Department, District Chairperson, Rotary Club; and other guests shared their views.

In Bhagalpur, events like cultural evening, skit, shramdaan and padyatra. Institutions, local groups and NGOs came forward to take part in the awareness activities. Kuppa ghat and Barari pul ghat were covered for conducting awareness activities which included shram daan, pad yatra, pledge, and awareness campaign.