Indian Army Celebrates Ganga Yodha Mahotsav 2020 with a concert by Kailash Kher on the banks of the Ganges

Varanasi: The Indian Army hosted a concert by eminent musician Kailash Kher today, to create awareness about the immense work being done by the armed forces towards the effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of river Ganga. The concert was organized by the Territorial Army to create awareness about the immense work being done by the armed forces towards the effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of river Ganga by 137 Ecological TA Battalion under the leadership of Colonel Amit Pandey, NM. The event was held on the scenic banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. The soulful night was attended by distinguished dignitaries from the government and the army including D.G. National Mission for Clean Ganga Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, LT General D.P. Pandey, AVSM, SM.

The initiative has taken shape under the aegis of Addl. DG of the Territorial Army Major General Dev Arvind Chaturvedi, PVSM, AVSM, SM, along with officers Major Pradeep Shoury Arya, IRS, Shaurya Chakra and Capt. Neil Shaji, VSM. Major Pradeep Arya, was earlier awarded the Shaurya Chakra for leading a counter terrorism operation in J&K and additionally, being an IRS officer he initiated this event to commemorate and spread the message of Rejuvenating Ganga to the larger masses. To make the Ganga Yodha Mahotsav a success, the Territorial Army have also organised for the post event clean-up drive to encourage and convey a message to keep the surroundings clean.

Says Colonel Amit Pandey, NM, “Within just a year of raising this special 137 CETF battalion, it has emerged as a formidable and respected force in the battle of rejuvenation of the River Ganga, and is held in high esteem by both government and non-government agencies. We look forward to scaling up our level of operations to make a comprehensive and meaningful contribution towards the national goal of Rejuvenation Ganga.”

Says, Territorial Army Major General Dev Arvind Chaturvedi, PVSM, AVSM, SM, “The grand success of this event is a testimony of the sincere and good quality work that our young army units have done at the ground level. The Indian Army wanted to celebrate the milestones towards the rejuvenation of the river with the residents of Varanasi and also motivate all those who lended a helping hand towards Clean Ganga . Spearheaded by 137 CETF( Territorial Army) together we will achieve our noble aim thus benefiting all our countrymen and also the world; VasudhaivaKutumbakam.We would like to thank eminent singer Kailash Kher for gracing this presence and making this a joyous occasion.”

The river Ganga has always been immensely important in the context of Indian culture. Unfortunately today, it is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Natural causes like soil erosion, agricultural runoffs, deposition of dead and decaying plants and animals, floods etc. are amplified by man-made problems such as the ever increasing population along the river basin, industrial waste, sewage disposal, disposal of dead bodies, immersion of idols, household waste and other anthropogenic activities.

With the announcement of the NamamiGange project in 2014, the efforts for Ganges rejuvenation gained national importance and the government also invited the Army to contribute. The Army formed a special battalion for this purpose in April 2018, with units located at Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj. Popularly known as the Ganga Task Force, the 137 CETF Bn (TA) 39 GR was raised with the budgetary support of the ‘Ministry of Water Resources, River Devp and Ganga Rejuvenation’ and functions in close coordination with the National Mission for Clean Ganga. This was a unique initiative in the annals of the Indian Army and the composition of the battalion was devised keeping in view the multiplicity of tasks involved.

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