27th February, Mumbai: On February 27, World NGO Day is celebrated across the world in over 89 countries. The day is dedicated towards recognising as well as celebrating all the good work done by non-governmental and non-profit organisations for the betterment of the society. Actor/producer/ Environmentalist Arushi Nishank, who runs the NGO Sparsh Ganga, talks about their journey so far.
“Sparsh Ganga was started in the year of 2008 with an aim of conservation & rejuvenation of national rivers Ganga & Yamuna, women empowerment, public awareness, waste management and afforestation. The objective of this foundation is to make people aware about why the water bodies are important and why we should keep them clean and how we should keep them clean, we have two major objectives, first is awareness and second comes action. For awareness we have done many webinars, seminars and UN, UNEP panels. To make people aware I have created a special composition called “Ganga Avtaran” which I have taken to many countries to make people aware of how Maa Ganga came to Earth and why we aren’t able to keep it clean,” she shares the idea behind the NGO.
The action part Sparsh Ganga involves active participation in cleaning the banks of Ganga & Yamuna river. “We have made Sparsh Ganga Ghats in Delhi where the Sparsh Ganga volunteers run a weekly cleaning drive every Sunday and the same drive is happening in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata. Youth from Delhi university have joined Sparsh Ganga and its campaign. More than 150 schools have organised plantation drives in Delhi and Uttarakhand,” she says.
Helping those who want to start an NGO, Arushi shares key factors that one should keep in mind. “Charity begins at home and if we all dream to change something in our lives and in our country or in this world, I feel it’s high time that we should get up and do something. For many people, NGOs are a way to begin living their dream and take the first step to change their world,” she adds.
Sharing specific goals for Sparsh Ganga in the coming months, she says, “We keep having lot of drives under Sparsh Ganga, we did International Environment submit in Delhi and in many other countries, we specially conducted a very successful event in Dubai which called the Environment submit between UAE and India where majorly lot of ministers from both the countries, philanthropist, actors and all the wise people has attended it. We have started another campaign “Selfie with Sparsh tree” where everybody planted a tree and took a selfie and that’s how we connected with their phycology and implanted the habit to plant more and more trees.”
The team also has a lot of special plans this year as after Covid people are back to their work and social activities. “So now our weekly drives are again in active mode, so the agenda for this year is to start weekly cleaning of the sea in Mumbai as well,” she shares.