Sunday, 22 April 2018 | PNS | Dehradun– The eminent exponent of Ram Charit Manas, Morari Bapu who has won international fame while reciting Ramkathas visited Parmarth Niketan based in Rishikesh on Saturday and appreciated the initiatives taken by a number of organisations, including Parmarth Niketan, for saving the revered Ganga and other rivers originating from and flowing through Uttarakhand. He during his stay in the ashram discussed on a range of topics like spirituality, social harmony, cleanliness and environment protection with the head of Parmarth Niketan Swami Chidanand Saraswati. This aside, a special discussion was held on issues related to Ganga — related hygiene and environment arranged on the occasion of the visit of Morari Bapu to the ashram. While speaking volume of the role played by Murari Bapu in taking Ramkathas across the world over fifty years or more, Chidanand Saraswati said that it is high time to set up organic toilets on both banks of Ganga along with introducing organic farming. Besides, he stressed on setting up Godhams, shelters for the bovines, and said that the cows wandering around the celebrated pilgrimage centres like the four revered shrines, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Prayag. “This sends a bad message, begetting the impression that the cows are being left to themselves with the society doing nothing for them. It is thus time when those, dedicated to the cause of Ganga, religions and the society, to show solidarity and go for activism on such issues. Ganga must be saved and only through saving her we can save our environment. At the same time the cows must be rightly looked after,” he said. Stressing on saving rivers, particularly Ganga, he said that civilisations dawned and thrived along their banks across the world. “The rivers have remained the fulcrums of economy of the nations. The rivers which give us sustenance must be revered in the same way as we revere our mothers, for they are the mothers of human civilisations. The values enshrined in the ancient civilisations are now declining as we have ceased to look on them as divine entities. The rivers which have mothered civilisations are drying up fast and the time is not far- off when they would die unless we are awake to the role we must play to let them thrive as it would let our hoary civilisations to thrive. Otherwise they would be lost in no time,” he said. While criticising what is happening in the name of unscientific and unplanned development, the seer said that the cities are expanding while encroaching the places meant for the rivers to flow in their natural courses. “This is a dangerous trend and unless it is arrested it would be difficult to stop the rivers, including Ganga, from getting stultified and the civilisation which owed themselves to the rivers from getting extinct,” he said. He further asked the religious fraternity along with others to play a positive and dynamic role in saving the rivers from imminent destruction, a suggestion to which Murari Bapu lent his full weight and said that the task of saving Ganga and other rivers is paramount.