PANAJI: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) organised the Grand Finale of Ganga Quest 2021, an online global quiz contest on Ganga, rivers, and environment on the occasion of World Environment Day 2021, says a press release by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The quiz was first conceptualised in 2019 as an educational programme to sensitise people specially youth, children, students towards River Ganga and other rivers of our country. The quiz is organised by NMCG in association with Tree Craze Foundation.
While congratulating the winners of preliminary rounds among lakhs of participants, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG said: “In-line with the theme of World Environment Day 2021-Ecological Restoration, Ganga Quest focuses not only on Ganga but the entire ecosystem. The aim of the quiz is to ensure learning happens with fun.”
This annual quiz has become the most important activity to connect with lakhs of people in the country helping the Namami Gange mission in its objective of connecting people.
The Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, taking a keen interest, has inspired Team NMCG since last year to make it a million plus quiz and make it a regular feature. DG, NMCG expressed happiness that Ganga Quest this year has tremendously improved its foot print with participation from all states, UTs, the most remote areas of the country and also from a very large number of countries in the world. He appreciated the commendable work carried out by several partner institutions, several voluntary groups such as NYK Ganga Doots, Ganga Mitras, Praharis, Ganga VicharManchetc who have gone the extra mile despite the pandemic in strengthening the resolve for Ganga Conservation. He called upon the participants to carry on their association with Ganga and the environment beyond the quiz also.
Upneet Singh, Co -Task Team Leader, Ganga Project, World Bank expressed her delight about the overwhelming response to the Ganga Quest 2021 in spite of the country going through major crises like the second wave of COVID-19 and cyclones. Speaking about the Namami Gange programme, she shared: “Through the World Bank we are engaging with many river conservation programs in the world but there is no other programme like Namami Gange in terms of scale, magnitude and holistic approach. We will be taking learnings from this program to other countries.”
Addressing students, she added, “Today, youth are the biggest advocates of environmental conservation. Hence, the role of youth in supporting Ganga rejuvenation and ecology conservation can be very instrumental.”
Speaking about the preparations which went behind making Ganga Quest 2021 a success, Rozy Agrawal, Executive Director-Finance, NMCG leading coordinator of the Ganga Quest organising team, called the quiz a “Maha- Abhiyaan” in which many educational, independent and volunteer organizations contributed. He shared that this year 1.1 million people registered for the quiz from 113 countries. 216 participants were selected for the Grand Finale based on their performance of which 215 are Indian nationals and 1 is from UAE.
Bhawna Badola, CEO of Tree Craze Foundation shared that over the years, the enthusiasm for- Ganga Quest has increased manifold. In 2021, in spite of a very challenging situation in the country during April-May in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.1 million registered for the quiz. She informed that to ensure more and more people can join the quiz, the quiz is conducted in Hindi and English and for the first time, all States and Union Territories of India Participated in the Ganga Quest 2021. It was fully open for international participants.
She also said that several states have shown a huge increase in the number of participants over the last year, such as Jharkhand where this year 1,10,111 participated compared to 3,147 last years, Odisha from 7,948 to 20, 538; HP from 3,271 to 13, 138 etc. 216 winners participated in the Grand Finale. In terms of gender, the winners are quite equally distributed with (male -110, Female-106). Amongst winners, 215 winners are from all across India and only 1 winner is from UAE. In India, the winners come from 24 different States where Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of Top 3 winners, followed by Delhi, and Jharkhand.
Three people who got special mention for their efforts to reach out to maximum people are Nishi Kant Agarwal, Principal, KV No. 2 Nausenabagh, Vishakhapatnam; Rama Sampath, Nodal Officer, Sri Sathya Sai SevaOrganisations India; and, Vineet Mani, Nodal Officer, Oriental Institute Senior Secondary School, Amethi, Deoria.
The event was also joined by the noted singer, Kailesh Kher, who appreciated the large number of people joining and sang an inspirational song on Namami Gange. Noted actor Rajeev Khandelwal also joined and recollected his association with tele-series “Rag Rag Me Ganga’ helping him understand Mother Ganga. Emphasising that conservation of river and environment is not just government’s responsibility, Rajeev Khandelwal urged students to continue showing the same enthusiasm and commitment towards conservation of Ganga and ecology which they have shown for the quiz.
The Grand Finale reached online to more than 75,000 viewers on different online forums. The viewers who were not only from India but also globally from countries like US, UAE, Nepal, Pakistan, Finland etc. enjoyed watching the event.