At the same time the process supports the livelihoods for manual scavenger women, providing them respectable work in a disease-free environment.
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What started with the aim of purifying water and sanitation, has unrolled into a profitable social business that is protecting labor rights, empowering women, reducing pollution, and thus disease. But most importantly of all, Helpusgreen is changing mindsets about temple waste and manual scavenging. This at-the-roots engagement will allow us to make progress, not just patch the wounds.
Helpusgreen stands as an example for the potential of social businesses to reach further and create solutions that address diverse problems at the same time. Social impact enterprises are positioned uniquely to do this, operating in a space where ingenuity can pay off and impact investors are willing to take the risk. The Goals must not be viewed as singular listed agenda items, but naturally integrated, symbiotic aims that lead us to build a better world. There is a weight, urgency and complicity to each SDGs; to see advancements we must support this new generation of systems change leaders.
They see beyond the obvious, and use their local contexts to delve deeply into issues so that solutions are all encompassing. Social impact entrepreneurs, like those at Helpusgreen , are an example of this principle in action, dynamic and innovative thinkers who inspire foundational changes. In our nuanced and complex societies, we must take the time to build bridges, and keep asking ourselves what inclusive, multifaceted, paradigm-shifting solutions really look like.
We prevent pollution at its source, while also providing direct livelihoods to the manual scavenger women who craft our products in Uttar Pradesh, India. This, in turn, provides livelihoods to manual scavenger families in India. She is a published photographer and aims to give voice to local level environmental injustices through visual media.
She holds an M. You must be logged in to post a comment. Cities such as Kathmandu, Nepal, along the tributary Bishnumati River, release a variety of contaminants into the rivers, and water quality deteriorates rapidly downstream. Organic pollution comes from the tens of thousands of bodies cremated on the Ganga itself, as well as human and animal wastes.
More dangerous and persistent chemical contaminants released by the hundreds of factories along the Ganga and its tributaries include mercury, highly toxic heavy metals such as lead and copper, and various synthetic chemicals. Crop lands leak pesticides and excess fertilizers into the rivers 1.
Short essay on Ganga River Pollution
A study of contaminants in tissue from humans, domestic animals, and wildlife throughout India found that compounds such as PCBs are ubiquitous 2. These compounds persist in the environment and accumulate in the tissues of living creatures, reaching higher concentrations than those ingested by the organism.
Many of the compounds disrupt reproduction and development, as well as being carcinogens. Foreign visitors to India have long commented on the filth of the Ganga. Indians historically believed that the river was physically as well as spiritually pure and thus had no trouble bathing in and drinking water in which partially cremated corpses floated downstream. Nonetheless, 80 percent of the health problems in contemporary India come from waterborne diseases. No one in India spoke of the Ganga as polluted until the late s, by which time large stretches of the river — over kilometers — were effectively ecologically dead.
Special Essay: The Ganga – Eternally pure? – Global Water Forum
National attitudes have now changed dramatically, and grassroots environmental concern about water pollution, as well as government attempts to control pollution, are growing. GAP includes interception and diversion of sewage, construction of sewage treatment plants, and development of water quality standards and protective legislation.
Some aspects of water quality — dissolved oxygen levels, phosphate and nitrate concentrations — have improved locally as a result of GAP, but other contaminants such as pesticides in agricultural runoff remain largely unchanged because they are not treated in wastewater plants. As in much of the world, water quality standards in India are only as good as their enforcement, which has been uneven.
Clean water is now a limiting resource across the Ganga drainage, despite the relatively wet climate of much of the region. River pollution is in many ways difficult for people to grapple with. An activist cannot literally embrace a portion of a river the way that people protesting excessive tree cutting in India can hug a tree. Because a river integrates an entire drainage basin, the contaminants present at any point along the river represent everything entering the main channel upstream, as well as tributaries, surface runoff, and subsurface flow.
Unless the contaminants produce a highly visible result such as a massive fish kill below an industrial point source, the effects of water pollution are usually subtle and slow-acting. The measures governments take are often muddled, cosmetic and even bizarre. For instance, the government once released 25, flesh eating turtles into the Ganges in the hope that they would devour the dead bodies dumped into the river.
Corruption and mismanagement ensured that the plan was a monumental failure. Tragically, they have lacked both will and skills to deal with the gargantuan problem of an increasingly toxic river that has been the lifeblood of Indian civilization.
Special Essay: The Ganga – Eternally pure?
Increasing use of groundwater has resulted in water levels in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin falling annually by millimeters. Even as water is decreasing, pollution is rising as over a billion people consume more stuff and throw the waste directly into rivers. The amount of toxins, chemicals and other dangerous bacteria found in the river are now almost 3, times over the limit that the World Health Organization deems as safe. The Yamuna, the main tributary of the Ganges, is now the most polluted river in India. Coliform bacteria, heavy metal, nitrogen and other pollutants have killed the river.
For years, Indian politicians have been making slogans and announcing programs to clean the Ganges. Yet it is doubtful this program will work. It has taken two years for the prime minister to come up with the initiative, but details about how it would work are still fuzzy. Opposition parties rule the states through with the Ganges flows, and it is unclear who is to do what to clean up the mess.
The Ganges is still toxic and Varanasi continues to be dirty. Under Modi, some argue that they have grown in power. Their track record does not inspire confidence though. It is a grim irony that Indians who worship the Mother Ganges are killing the river they revere. Indians have to snap out of apathy and ignorance. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing it. It is high time that Indians come to the realization that the Ganges is far too toxic to be holy anymore. Photo Credit: Shylendra Hoode. Free media cannot run for free. Unlike social media, we are not using your personal information to sell you advertising.
Ganga River Pollution In India Environmental Sciences Essay
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