On the occasion of the Ganga River Dolphin Day, a campaign titled ‘My Ganga My Dolphin’ was launched.
This campaign aims to promote eco-tourism in the country
Launched by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), this campaign is active in six destinations. This initiative will see dolphin safaris begin in Bijnor, Brijghat, Prayagraj, and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. It will also begin in Kahalgaon in Bihar and Bandel in West Bengal.
The campaign will also conduct a Dolphin census in the 250-km stretch from Bijnor to Narora.
Rajeev Ranjan Mishra, Director-General, NMCG, said, “It is a unique initiative to integrate Gangetic dolphin and Ganga conservation with local livelihoods. This is in line with the concept of Arth Ganga.”
Jal Shakti Ministry released a statement that said, “This is a joint venture of WII, NMCG and the State Forest Departments. These efforts will drive sustainable tourism linking livelihood through Dolphin Conservation for eco-tourism along the Ganga river.”
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Minister said that in recent years, the number of Gangetic dolphins has significantly gone up. He has also urged people to support the Dolphin Conservation campaign and stressed on the importance of biodiversity.
Presently, trained volunteers from the local community, known as Ganga Praharis, will guide tourists at all these dolphin sites on boat rides.
Back in 2010, dolphins were declared as national aquatic animals. Hence, India celebrates Ganga River Dolphin Day every year on October 5. Then, in 2012, dolphin conservation started in India with joint efforts by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the UP government.
According to Suresh Babu, Director (river, wetland, and water policy), WWF, the goal is to guarantee water connectivity and depth. These conditions help the dolphins to survive.
In India, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal are home to dolphins. Based on reports, there are about 3700 Gangetic river dolphins in the country.