NMCG 2018




Freshwater species conservation has few amalgamated models to address and mitigate the situations of habitat alteration, habitat loss and illegal trade that are affecting the ecosystem today. Rescue and subsequent rehabilitation of aquatic fauna that become victim to the ever increasing pressures, is now an accepted conservation strategy. In a multi-stakeholder system, prioritization of the final objective is necessary and a perception change at the policy level to integrate scientific and socio-political decision-making is the need of the hour.

The workshop on “Managing Aquatic Fauna Along the Ganga River” on 7th and 8th December 2018 at Kachua Punarvas Kendra Sarnath, Varanasi was organised to augement capacities of forest staff at various levels in managing aquatic animals in distress. “Managing Aquatic Fauna along the Ganga River”.  Workshops of this nature aim to provide a platform for developing local contexts to address new and emergent problems and seek professionally informed solutions  for the scientific and ethical management of Aquatic Fauna needing rescue and rehabilitation. The workshop was attended by  63 forest department staff from Mughalsarai, Chahania, Naughad, Chandraprabha, Jaimohini, Mazgai, Chakia ranges and the Flying Sqaud.




732 fresh water turtles of 3 species (Nilssonia gangetica, Lissemys sp and Batagur dhongoka) were identified for release post a health assessment. They had completed the requisite quarantine period and were being acclimated for release into their natural habitat.  Furthermore, a visual reconnaissance survey of the release sites was done to re-affirm suitability pre-release. The release was planned and executed in a staggered manner spanning 3 days; 28th, 29th, and 30th November 2018.
On 28th November 2018, 53 softshell turtles (50 Lissemys sp and 3 Nilssonia gangetica) were released at a pond adjoining the shrine of a holy man and protected by the Village Panchayat, Temple authority and the village residents. Along with the turtle release a pond clean-up was initiated with the participation of 12 Ganga Praharis, from the local community.  Besides making the water body a better habitat for the faunal elements this provided an opportunity to build local support and motivate the community to participate in monitoring the quality of the natural resources. The Assistant Village Pradhan was present during the whole operation and was supportive of the initiatives.
Work on day 2, 29th November 2018 started at 4 am with the visual assessment of individual animals prior to crating them for transport to the release site opposite Assi Ghat in the Turtle Sanctuary at Varanasi. 474 Batagur dhongoka and 8 Nilssonia gangetica were released in the presence of Sh. Manoj Khare, DFO, Kashi Wildlife Division and the staff of the Turtle Sanctuary.
On the final day, 30th November 2018, 197 Lissemys sp. were released at the Saresar wetland at Mughalsarai. behind a Forest Department nursery. This is a large perennial pond with 3 smaller, connected ponds and channels in the large water body itself.




India River Week 2018 has focus on a single river basin; the Ganga. The aquatic wildlife of the Ganga basin, including the main stem Ganga River, is now under threat due to diverse anthropogenic pressures. These activities further impact the quality and extent of habitat available to the diverse life forms that draw sustenance from the riverine system. Situations like entanglement in fishing nets, poaching, animals accidentally venturing into unsuitable areas, illicit trade now demand relevant attention.
It is essential to spread awareness about the river and ecosystem function in all stakeholders. Children are the future of tomorrow and would be the best ambassadors to forwarded the message of aquatic system and its species conservation. A half day program was organized under the aegis of the WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project Component IV (Rescue and Rehabilitation) on “Importance of the River Ganges and its Biodiversity” at Kachua Punarvas Kendra Sarnath, Varanasi on 26th November, 2018.
The workshop was conceptualised to familiarise local school children with the ideas of River Ecosystem Conservation. The children who attended the program live in the viscinity of the Kachua Punarvas Kendra, Sarnath and have frequently requested for a tour of the facility. Their parents and family are closely associated with the work at the centre as they run local businesses in the area. The workshop included interactive talks (in Hindi) as well as a demostration. Programs of this nature aim to create local ambassadors who will spread the message far and wide amongst the communities.

The main objectives were:
1.  Awareness about India Rivers Week.
2. Awareness about the role of WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project and Component IV Rescue and Rehabilitation.
3.  Awareness about the diverse Aquatic fauna of the Ganga River Basin.
4.  Role of turtles in the ecosystem.
5.  Role of Rescue and Rehabilitation Centres.
6.  Role of Citizens in the conservation paradigm.

 Resue and Rehabilitation team members with school children   India River Week celebration



A sensitization workshop was organized for students and teachers on 25th November, 2018 at the Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar. The objective was to acquaint the participants about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga River and integrating the religious and vedic practices in conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga. A total of 35 participants (29 postgraduate students and 6 teachers) were present for the workshop. As part of the event, the participants were also apprised about the role of Ganga Praharis in biodiversity conservation. Saplings of religious plants were planted at the Herbal garden of the university campus.




A five day National training workshop for College and University Teachers was organized under WII-NMCG project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” from 14th to 18th November, 2018 at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. A total of 24 professors from 5 Ganga States, viz. Uttarakand (Devprayag, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun); Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Narora, Bulandshahr); Bihar (Bhagalpur); Jharkhand (Sahibganj and Dumka) and West Bengal (Serampore, Hoogly, Kolkatta) participated in this workshop.
The main objective of the workshop was to develop the skills of the professors in biodiversity monitoring and to:

  1. Create awareness among university professors about biodiversity of the Ganga, and the importance of conservation of aqualife in the rejuvenation process of the river.
  2. Enable the participants to promote and encourage such activities as part of the curriculum.
  3. Build a cadre of trained teachers who would further carry forward awareness activities and workshops.
  4. Highlight the importance of participatory management in biodiversity conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga.

The workshop was divided into 5 technical sessions on biodiversity monitoring and wetland conservation, participatory management, rescue and rehabilitation techniques, conservation education and field visits. Subject experts and WII-NMCG team provided inputs in the respective sessions.
During the first and second days understanding the biology, ecology and monitoring for various taxa like invertebrates, dolphins, turtles and otters was the focus of the technical sessions. Techincal sessions were also held on genetic sampling of aquatic species of Ganga, monitoring of river variables, river habitat characterisation and e-flows. Ecological aspects on fishes, snakes and amphibians were also discussed.
The participatory management session commenced with a talk on rescue and rehabilitation techniques for first responders. Following this, two group activities were conducted emphasizing the importance of participatory management, and approaches and interventions required to mobilize community for the conservation activities. The session was carried out through simulated exercises where the participants got an opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences. Apart from community participation, experiences on generic skills on team work were also imparted. During the session on conservation education, the participants were imparted information on preparation and designing of conservation awareness materials, which was followed by screening of a wildlife video: Ganga praharis episode I and II. 
The fifth session consisted of onsite activities, demonstration at laboratories and field monitoring. Participants visited the Forensic lab and understood the ways for identification of poach and fake samples in the wildlife specimen. A walk along the WII-Nature trail provided information on the flora of the campus and vegetation sampling techniques. A visit to the Geographic Information System (GIS) laboratory was also organised, and the participants were apprised about the use of GIS technology for biodiversity conservation of the Ganga River. During a field visit to the Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Suklapur, the participants interacted with the scientist and researchers and learnt about the recharge of streams and rivers using isotopes.
During a field visit to the Chilla range in Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand, the participants were taken for a safari, and then to the elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre, at Chilla. The group then departed for the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh. A brief interactive session with Swamini Adityananda was followed by the Ganga Arti at the banks of the River. The day ended with a brief meeting with H.H. Pujya Swami Chidananda Saraswati Ji.
The workshop concluded with a valedictory session and distribution of the certificates to the participants by Dr. G.S. Rawat (Dean, WII) and Dr. Sandeep Behra (Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG). After the valedictory session, the participants were taken on visit to Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun.
 Resource person during the training programme

S. No.    Name  and  Designation
1.        Dr. Syed Ainul Hussain,  Scientist-G
2.        Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G
3.        Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Project Scientist & Training Coordinator
4.        Dr. Sandeep Behra.  Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG
5.        Prof. Qamar Qureshi, Scientist-G
6.        Dr. V.P. Uniyal, Scientist-G
7.        Dr. Bivash Pandav, Scientist-F
8.        Dr. B.S. Adhikari, Scientist-F
9.        Dr. S.K. Gupta, Scientist-E
10.        Dr. Abhijit Das, Scientist-D
11.        Dr. Amit Kumar, Scientist-C
12.        Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Project Scientist
13.        Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Project Scientist
14.        Dr. Gowri Mallapur, Subject Matter Specialist - Veterinarian
15.        Dr. Rahul Rana, Research Associate
16.        Dr. Deepika Dogra, Project Associate

WII-NMCG team during the training programme

S. No.    Name and  Designation
1.        Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Project Scientist & Training Coordinator
2.        Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Project Scientist
3.        Dr. Niladri Dasgupta,Project Scientist
4.        Mr. Sk. Zeeshan Ali, Project Scientist
5.        Dr. Deepika Dogra, Project Associate
6.        Mr. Vipul Maurya, Project Associate
7.        Ms. Monika Mehralu, Assistant Training Coordinator
8.        Ms. Aditi Dev, Project Fellow
9.        Ms. Sayantika Banerjee, Project Fellow
10.       Mr. Ravindra Nath Tripathi, Project Fellow
11.       Ms. Aishwarya Ramachandran, Project Fellow
12.       Ms. Advaita Ravindran, Project Assistant
13.       Ms. Shatakshi Sharma, Project Assistant
14.      Mr. Sumit Nautiyal, Project Intern

Field and onsite visit during the training programme


Field and  onsite visit



Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Suklapur

To learn about various techniques and technologies developed by the organisation, which may be utilised in studying various parameters of Ganga, and in the conservation of the riverine biodiversity and rejuvenation of the river.


Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand

To explore the biodiversity in a protected area adjacent to the Ganga River, and to learn methods to be applied in other such places along the stretch of the river.


Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

To interact with another organisation working on cleaning and rejuvenating the Ganga, and to explore possibilities of collaboration for Ganga river’s rejuvenation.


Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun

To study and observe various types of vegetation with a focus on riparian biodiversity, in order to learn more about how to conserve biodiversity in an integrated manner.

Photographs of the training programme

Registration of the participants Welcome Address by the Programme Coordinator
Project overview by the Project Coordinator Workshop objectives and role of teachers presented by the training coordinator
 social, cultural and ecological significance Monitoring of Insect as a bioindicators
Demonstration at forensic Lab WII-Nature trail walk
Demonstration at GIS Lab Group activity on participatory management
Session on rescue and rehabilitations techniques for first responders Address by Guest of Honour, Dr. Sandeep Behera at the Valedictory function
Distribution of certificates to the participants Distribution of certificates to the participants
Post training feedback and group discussion Group Photo with the participants



All India NCC UP Gangatrek was jointly organized by WII NMCG project team and Lieutenant Colonel Aanchal Kumar and team from 21st October to 05th November, 2018 at Kishan Inter College Rawali Village Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. About 500 participants from different states (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat) participated in the event. Among the participants four Junior Commission officers, NCC Directorate, Lucknow, eight NCC officers, four Associate NCC officers were actively involved and shared their experiences, issues and activities related to biodiversity conservation in their respective states. The workshop concluded with a Bird monitoring session from Kanha Aashram to Bijnor Barrage, Uttar Pradesh.




The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the WII-NMCG “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project celebrated the Wildlife week from 2nd to 8th October 2018. The celebration also observed the “Ganga River Dolphin Day” and World Habitat Day on 5th Oct. 2018. The celebrations were conducted throughout the week by the WII-NMCG team and Ganga Praharis in the Ganga river states.


The Wildlife week was celebrated at Janki Children Academy, Banjarawala, Dehradun, by organizing various activities for 400 students and 25 teachers. Students of classes 4th to 8th participated in drawing and painting competition, and 9th to 12th in poem and slogan writing competition on the theme “Biodiversity conservation and aquatic species of Ganga River”. All the students took part with great enthusiasm and penned down their thoughts in these events. The team of WII-NMCG project included Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Ms. Monika Mehralu and Ms. Advaita Ravindran.

The event started with the drawing competition that was conducted for students from class 4th to class 8th (n=200), while parallel screening of the two documentaries – Thumbelina and Ganga Praharis – took place for students of classes 8th and 12th. This was followed by the shortlisted candidates for the english poetry competition (n=200) on Ganga Aqualife competition, which was conducted for students from 9th to 12th, and the shortlisted candidates from 2 categories of juniors (class 3rd  to 5th) and seniors (classes 6th and 7th) drawing on Ganga aqualife competition. This was followed by a prize distribution session, and brief discussion about the work being done in WII and its importance for executing the Ganga biodiversity restoration programme.



The Ganga Praharis celebrated Wildlife week on the 6th of October 2018 at the Government Primary School, Devprayag. A total of 46 students of the school, Headmaster and staff took part in the celebration. Students were told about the importance of celebrating the wildlife week.  They were told about the biodiversity present in their surrounding and that of Ganga River in particular. The students were informed about the morphological feature of the birds, animals and their ecological importance to maintain the health of an ecosystem.



At Uttarkashi, Ganga Praharis organized sessions dedicated to the World wildlife week on the 6th and 7th of October 2018 in the Youth Parliament of Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYKS) volunteers. In these sessions the volunteers were sensitized on the importance of celebrating this special week. An interactive session was kept were the team and participants were divided into groups and discussions were held on the  wild flora and fauna found in the pristine surrounding of Uttarkashi with special attention on Ganga’s biodiversity and the need and importance of conserving this as an inseparable part of the ecosystem.




At Varanasi, the wildlife week was celebrated on 2nd to 8th October with Ganga Praharis and local people at Domari village, Kashividhya Peeth block - Goshthi and Chandrawati village Cholapur block. The function was inaugurated by village Pradhan Mr. Udhishter Nishad on 2nd October, 2018. On 4th October essay writing competition on Ganga aqualife conservation was organized for school children at Purva Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, Rampur. As part of the celebration a cleanliness drive was carried out with 15 Ganga Prahris and 35 villagers at Domri Ghat and Goshthi on 6th October. On the last day, an awareness programme was also conducted at Primary School, Ramna village, subsequently a drawing competition was organized in Government Primary school Chandrawati Cholapur block. The team from WII includes Dr. Sandhya Joshi, Ms. Sunita Rawat, Mr. Nagendra and Mr. Rahul.



At Narora, the event was celebrated with 75 local people and 20 Ganga Praharis on 2nd October at Basi Ghat, Narora with the coordination of forest department.  The participants were sensitized about the significance of conservation of wildlife.



In Farrukabad, Ganga Praharis at Bhaguanagla village in Farrukabad district held a sensitization meeting for villagers and awareness rally for school children on 3rd October, 2018. Villagers and school children were conveyed message on importance of celebrating the Wildlife week across the globe. During this program the Ganga Praharis highlighted the importance of cleanliness in Ganga River and it’s surroundings.  Ganga Praharis explained the importance of Wild flora and fauna in maintain the ecological balance of the river and of the entire ecosystem.  A cleanliness pledge was taken with a promise to keep Ganga and it’s surrounding clean so that a clean habitat is ensured for it’s aqualife.




The celebration was conducted at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna Zoo, Bihar, on the occasion of “National Ganga River Dolphin Day”. The NMCG-WII team, Ganga Praharis and students from Zoological survey of India with the cooperation of the Bihar Forest Department jointly celebrated the event. The event was made special with the release of publications by Honorable  Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Shri. Sushil Kumar Modi. A total of 13 Ganga Praharis took part in the celebration held at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Garden (Patna Zoo), Patna.

a)    Release of Publications:
Shri Sushil Kumar Modi the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, released two reports by NMCG-WII team and CAMPA-Dolphin teams of the Wildlife Institute of India (Dehra Dun).
•    NMCG-WII Bihar Report
•    CAMPA- Dolphin Report

b)    Interactive session: 
NMCG-WII team conducted an interaction session at the Education center of the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna. Ganga Praharis from Bhagalpur and Samastipur districts, students from Zoological Survey of India who are trained in Green Skill Development Programme and officials and staff of Bihar forest department participated in the session. The participants discussed on the measures needed to be taken for conserving biodiversity of Ganga and the green skill initiatives that Ganga Praharis from Bihar can be introduced to, so as to reduce their dependency on the bio resources of the Ganga River. It was suggested by everyone that no barrages and dams should be built on the river, illegal sand mining needs to be controlled, open point sources that still exist along the river need immediate attention, there should be provision to fix the fishing net size and also strict monitoring to be introduced to check on illegal fishing, more plantation activities to be done along the banks of Ganga river and prohibition of disposal of dead animal or human body directly into the river. It was suggested that the fishermen can be trained in pisciculture techniques. The NMCG-WII team applauded the efforts of Ganga Praharis for their tremendous work and tireless efforts related to the project activities at their sites. In the coming few months Ganga Praharis would be trained under the Green Skill Development Program of Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.



In the Bhagalpur district, Bihar, the Ganga Praharis were briefed on the importance of celebrating the Wildlife Week by the officials of Bihar Forest Department. The department facilitated the Ganga Praharis working actively towards biodiversity conservation in Ganga River and it’s surrounding. A sensitization program was organized on 4th October 2018 at Jagatpur village. A cleanliness drive was also organized by Ganga Praharis at the Ghats as a symbol of keeping the habitat of Ganga river clean for the wild flora and fauna of the river. In Kadua village, Navgachia (Bhaglapur) a session for members of local communities was also organized, during which they were taught on the first hand treatment of an injured bird due to electric wiring. The ecological importance of the bird species was highlighted for the villagers.




As part of the Teacher’s Day celebration, a sensitisation workshop was organised for teachers, students and Ganga Praharis on 5th September, 2018 at the Ramdhari High School, Bhagalpur, Bihar. The purpose of this workshop was to sensitize the participants on the importance of indicator species in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and role of youth in restoration of Ganga river. The teachers and students were also introduced to the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. The workshop was attended by 165 students from classes 8th to 11th, 11 Ganga Praharis and 8 teachers.




Conservation awareness programme was organized on 1st September 2018 for the students of Rajkeeya Alpha Secondary School, Moiuddin Nagar, Samastipur, Bihar. The main objective was to introduce and acquaint the participants about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga River and conservation issues associated therein. The program was attended by over 200 students, 8 teachers, 1 Convener Namami Gange, 1 media personnel and one forest official. The workshop was concluded by the screening of the Namami Gange anthem. NMC-WII Project perosnnel Dr. Deepika Dogra, Mr. Vipul Maurya, Mr. Saurav Gawan and Ms. Monika Mehralu organized this programme




The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with State Project Management Group (SPMG), Uttarakhand and Forest Departments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand celebrated the “World Environment Day” on 5th June, 2018 across 11 locations in five Ganga River states  under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. The theme of the event was “Beat the plastic pollution”. 


In Uttarakhand, activities were organized at Dehradun, Chilla and Devprayag to celebrate the World Environment Day. During the programmes, the participants were informed about the plastic pollution and importance of plantation. 

(i) The Ganga Aqualife Conservation Monitoring Centre organized a plastic free, open-air exhibition on the occasion of “World Enviornment Day” at the Wildlife Institute of India. Each exhibit had a unique message for saving the diversity and also showcased the diversity of the Ganga River. The exhibits attracted attention of each and every individual at the premises of the Institute and were widely appreciated.  


(ii) At Chilla, the event was attended by 228 participants from various stakeholder groups viz., Forest department, Uttarakhand, GMVN staff and officials, Eco-development community members, Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited officials, Rajaji National Park, Safari drivers, Tourist guides, Local shopkeepers, Farmers from nearby villages, School students, School teachers, Ganga Praharis and Media personnel. The event was conducted by Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Bivash Pandav, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Mr. Charuhas Dali, Ms. Shatakshi Sharma, Mr. Vivek Ranjan and Ms.Pooja Dagar.


(iii) At Devprayag, the event was attended by 89 participants from various stakeholder groups viz., Forest department, Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan, River Front Development, local politicians, local shopkeepers, journalists, social activists, women from Godavari Silai Kendra, and students from Industrial Training Institute (ITI) and other educational institutions. Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Sayantika Banerjee, Ms. Monika Mehralu and Ms. Hemlata Khanduri from WII; Arvind Jiyal, Ganga Prahari from Uttarakhand; Shri Jaipal Pawar, Block Pramukh, Devprayag; Shri D.P. Balooni, Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF), Uttarakhand Forest Department and Dr. Prabhakar Joshi from Amar Ujaala Hindustan highlighted plastic products becoming an integral part of our daily lives; the huge amount of non-biodegradable sewage being thrown into the Ganga River and resulting in detrimental effects on environment and biodiversity. 


Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, activities were organized at different sites viz. Varanasi, Farrukabad, Kannauj, Allahabad, Kanpur and Narora, Bulandshahr. During the programmes, the participants were informed about the plastic pollution and importance of plantation. 

(i) At Anupshahr, Bulandshahr, a workshop was organized at Durga Prasad Baljeet Singh Post Graduate college. A total of 150 Post Graduate and under Graduate student were present during the event. The activities include presentations on the theme “Beat plastic pollution” and a plantation drive at the banks of the Ganga River. The celebration concluded with certificate distribution to the participants. During this event, Mrs. Shashi Joshi and Mr. Rahil Khan were present from WII.


(ii) At Allahabad, a sensitization programme was organized at Jal Nigam Training Centre, Sangam Ghat. Ganga Praharis, Water Wing in-charge of Rapid Action Force (RAF) Shri Ramakant, Chairman of Navik Sangh Shri Pappu Lal Nishad, members of Navik Sangh, officers of RAF, post-graduate students of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, local people from villages located on the banks of the Ganga River, religious leaders and frontline staff of Jal Nigam Uttar Pradesh and Dr. Pariva Dobriyal and Mr. Kumar Ankit from WII were present during the workshop.


(iii) In Farrukabad, awareness programme was organized at four different sites viz. Khanpur, Block Badhpur and Sringirampur, Block Kamalganj. Gram Pradhan, VDO, Soil and water village committee member and village pradhan participated in these programmes. At village Kamlaganj Farrukabad, a cleanliness and plantation drive was organized by the Ganga Praharis and Volunteers of Nehru Yuva Kendra at Block Campus. Total 52 participants attended the programme. In Kannauj, activities were organized at two different sites. At village Faraharan, Block Ghughrapur, 76 participants attended awareness programme. At village Mitrasenpur, Kannauj awareness programme was organized by village Pradhan Mr. Pushpendra Singh. Total 23 participants attended the programme. At Kanpur zoo, awareness programme and plantation drive was organized. A total of 106 participants including the Zoo Staff, teachers, Students & Visitors attended the workshop. Students of BND College performed street play on hazards of plastic wastes. During this event, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan and Mr. Sanjeev Chauhan were present.


(iv) At Varanasi, the World environment Day was celebrated near the bank of the Ganga River, in Dhanka, and a total of 143 participants participated in a cleanliness campaign followed by a pledge to replace single use plastic bags with reusable cloth bags stitched at home. The Campaign was successfully led by the Ganga Praharis. A training centre to provide alternative livelihood skills was also inaugurated in the village with Women Ganga Praharis as the first batch. The first batch would stitch reusable cloth bags and encourage their use in village. Plantation of different plant samplings in the presence of the Gram Pradhan, Shri Satyanarayan Nishad and the head priest within the premises of the village temple marked the end of the event. The women volunteers adopted these saplings.



(i) In Kahalgaon a cleanliness drive was organized by the Ganga Prahari at the Kahalgaon Ghat. An awareness rally was also organized by them to spread awareness regarding reducing use of plastic. At Bhagalpur, an awareness programme was organized. A total 55 saplings of different species were planted by Ganga Praharis. Dr. Sunil Aggarwal and Mr. Arvind Mishra member of Mandar Nature Club also attended the programme.



(i) At Sahibganj, an awareness programme was organized at Shakuntala Sahay Ghat and Sahibganj College. A total of 90 participants attended the workshop. During this event participants were given talks on how to reduce plastic pollution and use of plastic. A plantation drive was also conducted during the event.


West Bengal

(i) In West Bengal, the World Environment Day was celebrated in the Panuhat Rajmahishi Devi High School of Burdwan. A total of 61 students and 10 Ganga Praharis participated in this awareness program. The participants were informed about the impacts of plastic pollution in the rivers and threats to the wildlife and its habitat. During the programmes, a drawing competition was organised on the topic ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ and ‘Biodiversity of Ganga’. The participants were taken near the bank of the Ganga River for tree plantation. After this session Mr. Ganesh Chowdhury shared his experience as Ganga Praharis to the participants and Ms. Shuchismita Das also inspired them to take initiatives for the protection of the Ganga River and its Biodiversity. 





Rescue and subsequent rehabilitation of impacted wild sentient has become a pertinent choice for on-ground species conservation initiatives owing to the sharp decline in their populations that essentially require support. Rescue and rehabilitation of Chelonians and Crocodilians to their natural habitat is an integral part of the larger ongoing WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project given that, the aquatic wildlife of the Ganga basin, including the main stream of Ganga River, is under threat due to diverse anthropogenic pressures.  Situations like entanglement in fishing nets, poaching, animals accidentally venturing into unsuitable areas, illicit trade in endangered species now demand relevant action.  Moreover, it’s the social responsibility of every citizen to ensure that every individual is given a chance for survival and procreation.

Effective rescue and rehabilitation is dependent on knowledge of the species with good understanding of their biological and ecological attributes; proper planning and preparedness and availability of requisite infrastructure and a  skilled professional team, thus making this a concerted team effort and an inclusive process. Capacity building of professionals who can contribute to this process of efficient rescue and rehabilitation, with enhanced skills and efficiency form an integral part of the work conceptualised under Component IV (Rescue and Rehabilitation) of the WII-NMCG Project.

In this regard, a 3 day Sensitization Workshop on  “Managing Aquatic Macro-Fauna along Ganga River”  for Field Veterinary Officers of Uttar Pradesh State was organized from 27th to 29th June 2018 at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize field veterinary officers to the various facets of conservation and management of Aquatic Macro Fauna found along the Ganga River.

The workshop included  inputs at Wildlife Institute of India with scientific  sessions related to species biology and ecology, in-situ conservation and challenges, principles of rescue and rehabilitation, emergent zoonoses,  ex-situ management  and legal issues related to rescue and rehabilitation. Inputs were also provided on relevant field investigations and interventions required for managing the aquatic species. All the sessions were steered by external and host subject matter expert and included inputs by Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Pradeeep K Malik, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. Parag Nigam, Dr. Abhijit Das, Dr. Gowri Mallapur, Dr Anupam Srivastav, Dr. Animesh Talukdar, Mr Akshay Bajaj, Dr Himanshu Joshi and  Dr. Sanath Muliya K. 

An exposure field visit was organised to Dehradun Zoo to demonstrate techniques used in the ethical and humane handling of reptiles which included protocols for capture, handling and restraint of crocodiles, chelonians and snakes.  This exercise was executed on 29th June 2018. In addition, the participants learnt species identification, sexing of chelonians, crocodilians and snakes as well as marking for individual identification. They had an opportunity to interact with Sh Prasana Patro, CF & Zoo Director to understand management challenges in maintaining  the species in captivity.

A total of 30  field veterinary officers from 9 districts of Uttar Pradesh viz: Sambhal, Varanasi, Allahabad, Hardoi, Bareilly, Bijnor, Kanpur Nagar, Hapur and Lucknow attended the workshop. The workshop was coordinated by Dr. Parag Nigam (nigamp@wii.gov.in) and supported by the WII- NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project.




The WII-NMCG project team celebrated the ‘International Migratory Birds Day’ on 12th, May 2018, by organizing various activities in different locations along the Ganga River States. The main objective was to sensitize the local community and youth about the different species of migratory birds, important characteristics of bird migration, threats to migratory birds, their ecological importance and the need for the conservation of these species and their habitat along the Ganga River and its floodplains. 

Devprayag, Uttarakhand

In Uttarakhand, the activities were organized at Devprayag and Uttarkashi. At Omkarananda Public School, Tehri Garwal, Devprayag an awareness programme was organized for 18 students by three Ganga Praharis. 

 Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand

In Uttarkashi, a sensitization workshop for students of Class VI-XII was organized at Gosoami inter college, Uttarkashi. During the programme, a total of 35 students were sensitized on conservation significance of migratory birds and their habitat.

Narora, Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, conservation awareness workshops were organized at Narora and Sarnath. Around 150 Students of intermediate level and 6 teachers from Raghunath Inter College, Narora and 70 primary students and 3 teachers from Primary School, Rajghat, Narora participated at the event

Sarnath (Varanasi) Uttar Pradesh

At Sarnath, a total of 70 students from both Primary and Junior High School including 6 teachers and Principal participated in the event.

Sahibganj, Jharkhand

In Sahibganj, Jharkhand a sensitization programme on hands-on experience was organized at the bank of the Ganga, Sahibganj. A total of 51 Students (Class VIII to X) and 2 Teachers from Utkramit High School participated with great enthusiasm. The WII-NMCG project team explained the identification characters of the bird’s species, diversity and their habitat. Different bird species like Red Naped Ibis, Lesser Adjutant, Asian Open Bill Stork, Great Egret, Cormorant, and Pond Heron were observed during bird watching programme. The team also briefed and demonstrated two counting techniques viz. point count method and total count method with the help of onsite example. Other than birds the students were also informed about other species that are found in the Ganga River. Students actively interacted with the team and asked their doubts.

Serampore, West Bengal 

The International Migratory Bird Day was celebrated in the Department of Zoology at Serampore College. 41 Postgraduate students and two Professors participated in this awareness program. Two lectures on “Bird Migration: A Natural Marvel” and “Knowing Migratory Birds of West Bengal” were delivered. Subsequently, in the interactive session, some common migratory bird species, their breeding ground and food habit were described to the participants. 



The Wildlife Institute of India under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted three days training workshop for Youth and NGOs on “Biodiversity Monitoring of Indicator Species of River Ganga” at Sahibganj College, Sahibganj, Jharkhand on 28th – 30th April, 2018. A total of 120 participants from Sahibganj College, Badharwa College and representative members of NGO attended the workshop.

The main objective of the workshop was to develop the capacity of the Youth and local NGOs on the biodiversity of the Ganga River, importance of Aqualife conservation in the Ganga rejuvenation, different monitoring methods and techniques of rescue & rehabilitation. The workshop was inaugurated through lightening of lamp by the Chief Guest Dr. Manoranjan Prasad Sinha, Vice Chancellor, S.K.M. University, Dumka, Jharkhand. The inaugural session started with the welcome of Chief Guest by Dr. S.P Yadav, Principal- Sahibganj College and Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Scientist and Training Coordinator, Wildlife Institute of India. Later on Dr. Sangeeta Angom gave a brief introduction on “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project and its objectives and work done so far. Then Dr. Sunil K. Choudhary gave a talked on Dolphin conservation and its issues in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctaury. Mr. Manish Tiwari, DFO, Sahibganj, Jharkhand talked on the issues related to conservation in Sahibganj district and assured their full support in future activities of Biodiversity Conservation of Ganga river. Afterwards, Dr. Manoranjan Prasad Sinha gave the keynote address about the event. He informed that conservation of biodiversity is very important for the Ganga River and ensured full support for the project activities. He encouraged all the participants to get this opportunity of learning through this workshop.  In the end of inaugural session, the participants were asked to fill pre- training assessment. 

After the inaugural session, the first session started with a talk on “Monitoring of Gangetic River Dolphin” by Dr. Rashid Raza, Project Scientist, CAMPA Dolphin. He briefed about the habitat of the Gangetic River Dolphin, present status and trend of Gangetic river dolphin. He also highlighted the threats such as excessive fishing, fragmentation of river habitat, poaching for bait oil, pollution (bio-accumulation), loss of habitat availability faced by Dolphin. The methods best known for monitoring and counting techniques such as double observer technique for the Gangetic river dolphins were explained by Mr. Subhashis Dey. 

The second session started with a lecture on “Monitoring of Fish Population” by Dr. Arvind Kumar Dwivedi. He briefed on the different species of fishes present in the Ganga River, that can also serve as the indicator species. He further talked on present status and trend of key fish species of the Ganga River and their threats. Later on Mr. Bitupan Boruah explained the interesting facts about Amphibian and Reptiles, identification of toads and frogs and classification of reptilian species. He emphasized on the importance of the amphibians as an indicator to pollution. He explained the methods to identify and differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes. The techniques and tools for snake handling were also highlighted during his presentation. Mr. Kritish De talked on the “Monitoring of Aquatic Invertebrates”. He first explained about the role of ants, termites, butterflies and dung beetles in a forest ecosystem. 

The second day started with a field visit to Mukteshwar Dham Ghat where Dr. Arvind Dwivedi briefed on the monitoring of water quality and river variables by using various instruments such as PRO DSS and ECOSENSE. Mr. Bitupan Boruah explained about working and use of GPS, line transects method. Mr. Vivek Ranjan , Mr. Rajat Rastogi and Ms. Gargi explained about the migratory and resident birds of the Ganga River. They explained different methods used for monitoring of Birds. The threats such as destruction of habitat, poaching and other issues were also discussed during the visit. Dr. Rajiv Chauhan gave a brief talk on wetlands and importance of wetlands. Ms. Ekta interacted with the participants and briefed them on the importance of community participation in the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. The session concluded with a group discussion, where the students asked their doubts and shared their views.  

The third day started with a lecture by Dr. Rajeev Chauhan on the topic “Techniques of Rescue and Rehabilitation of Aquatic Species with special focus on turtles and crocodilians”. Firstly, he informed about the different species of turtles and crocodiles found in the Ganga River. Then he talked about the handling techniques and preventive measures to be undertaken for safe rescue and rehabilitation of turtles and crocodiles. He also discussed about project progress and talked about the centres established by the Wildlife Institute of India at Narora and Sarnath.

After the lecture, for the team building activity the participants were divided into 5 groups to demonstrate the importance of participatory management, approaches and interventions required to mobilize community for the conservation activities. After the technical session, the certificate distribution was done by acting Principal Dr. B.D. Dwari, Head of Physics Department, Ms. Shashi Jaijodiya, President,  Akhil Bhartiya Marwadi Mahila Sammelan and Dr. Rajiv Chauhan, Conservation Officer, Wildlife Institute of India. 



The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted State level training workshop for frontline forest staff, Ganga Praharis and Media Personnel on “Biodiversity Conservation and monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River”. The training workshop was organized in collaboration with the trained spearhead team of forest officials of Jharkhand Forest Department, and was held from 25th to 27th, April, 2018 at Sahibganj, Jharkhand. The workshop was attended by 57 participants including Range Chief Conservator of forest (RCCF), Deputy District Collector (DDC), Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), 2 Range officers, Beat officer and 34 frontline forest staff from 3 Division (Sahibganj, Dumka and Godda) and 14 Ranges (Hizla West Range, Kathikund, Boarizor, Sundarpahari, Mandro, Taljhari, Badashara, Dumka East Range, Dumka Damin Range, Goddha, Raj Mahal Damin, Borio, Barharwa, Udhwa); 8 Ganga Praharis, 4 Media personnel (Hindustan, Dainik Jagran and Indian Punch), representative members of Ganga Seva Samiti, Professor of Sahibganj College and office staff of Forest Department, Sahibganj Jharkhand . 

This training workshop aimed at developing the skills and capacity of the frontline staff and Ganga Praharis in assessing and monitoring the aquatic fauna of Ganga River. The purpose of this workshop was also to sensitize the Media Personnel about the biodiversity profile of Ganga River, significance of their conservation and issues associated therein. The workshop started with welcome of the participants and formal inauguration by Dr. Sangeeta Angom. The workshop was divided into four sessions: two technical sessions on monitoring biodiversity and participatory management respectively and a session comprising of the field visit to the Udhwa Bird Sanctuary, Udhwa, Jharkhand. Pre-training impact assessment forms were distributed amongst the participants before the start of the technical session.

The first day of the workshop started with felicitation of Mr. Satyajit Singh (RCCF), Mrs. Nancy Sahay (DDC) and Mr. Manish Tiwari (DFO) by WII team with Arjun and Teak saplings. Dr. Sangeeta Angom, gave a detailed overview of the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. She also talked about the work that has already started in the other Ganga river states and initiatives needed to be taken for the rejuvenation of the Ganga river, in the state of Jharkhand. 

This was followed by a talk from Dr. Rashid Raza and Dr. Shubasis Dey on Ecology and Monitoring of Gangetic river dolphin. Subsequently a short discourse on the monitoring of crocodiles was given by Mr. Vivek Ranjan.  The second part of the session consisted of a group activity and a talk on Community Participation in Conservation of Ganga River: Ganga Prahari initiatives by Dr. Deepika Dogra. Importance of community participation was demonstrated through a group activity and the outcome of the activity showed that there needs to be coordination between frontline forest staff, higher officials and the community for effective communication and participation with respect to any conservation initiative.

On the second day, the participants were taken for a field visit to Udhwa Bird Sanctuary, Udhwa, Jharkhand. Dr. Rashid Raza, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan and WII Team formally introduced the Wetland characteristics and the floral and faunal diversity of that area. After that participants were divided into 5 groups and trained on monitoring of river and wetland variables, identification and counting of waterbirds etc. This was followed by examination for the participants on the experiences of the field survey techniques they learned during the exercises.

On the third day Dr. Sangeeta Angom introduced biological sample collection and genetic monitoring techniques to the participants. She told about the preserving techniques using easily available chemicals and sending them to WII or any other forensic laboratory for further tests and analysis. Thereafter, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan highlighted the principles and techniques of rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic fauna, especially. crocodiles and turtles. This was followed by a session by Mr. Manish Tiwari (DFO, Sahibganj and Spearhead team leader), highlighting the issues affecting the biodiversity of the Ganga river with special reference to Jharkhand. He presented a detailed overview of the Biodiversity of the Ganga river in Jharkhand, problems and issues the river is facing and what measures are being taken for its rejuvenation process. Afterwards a valedictory function was organized, Mr. Sandeep Singh, District Collector, Sahibganj, was the chief guest and distributed the certificates to the participants. He stated that this was a very informative workshop for the frontline staff members and Ganga Praharis, since for rejuvenation of Ganga River a large number of human resources are required.



Under the aegis of the WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project Component IV (Rescue and Rehabilitation) a three day sensitization workshop was held at the Wildlife Institute of India from 26th to 28th April 2018 for field Veterinary Officers of Uttarakhand State on “Managing Aquatic Fauna along the Ganga River”.

The workshop was attended by 34 field veterinary officers, including 14 lady officers from, Rudraprayag, Dhanaulti, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Almora, Bhimtal (Nainital), U.S. Nagar, Haldwani, Dehradun, Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

The workshop was formally inaugurated by Dr. K.K. Joshi, Director, Animal Husbandry, Government of Uttarakhand on 26th April 2018 in the presence of Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, WII, Dr. G.S. Rawat, Dean, FWS, Dr. S.S. Bist, Former Secretary, Uttarakhand Animal Welfare Board & Director, Animal Husbandry, besides senior serving officers from the Animal Husbandry Department including WII faculty.

The sensitisation workshop included both theoretical as well as field inputs covering various aspects of Aquatic Macro Fauna management. The theoretical session were conducted at Wildlife Institute of India and provided an overview of aquatic system and aquatic fauna; biological, behavioural and ecological attribute of select species; conflict identification mitigation for aquatic fauna; legalities and procedures in addressing rescue and rehabilitation besides identification and marking of animals. Sessions were conducted on capture and restraint; emerging diseases; insight into community participation and captive management (principles of treating aquatic herpetofauna, general field procedure and diagnostic aids).  The hands-on exercise was conducted at Dehradun Zoo on 27th April 2018 to provide exposure on various aspects of physical capture, handling and restraint of crocodilians and chelonians.

The core faculty from the Wildlife Institute of India included;

  • Dr. Pradeep K. Malik, Scientist G & Head, Dept. of Wildlife Health Management,
  • Dr. S.A. Hussain, Scientist G, Dept. of Landscape Level Planning & Management/ Project Leader WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project,
  • Dr Ruchi Badola, Scientist G Eco- Development Planning and Participatory Management,
  • Dr. Parag Nigam, Scientist F, Dept. of Wildlife Health Management,
  • Dr Gopi G. V, Scientist E, Dept of Endangered Species Management,
  • Dr Abhijit Das, Scientist C, Dept. of Endangered Species Management,
  • Dr Animesh Talukdar- Veterinary Officer WII-NMCG
  • Dr Gowri Mallapur, Subject matter Specialist (Veterinary Health Management) WII-NMCG

Teaching inputs were also provided by Shri Samir Sinha, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt of Uttarakhand and Shri Prasana Patro, IFS, Director, Dehradun Zoo.

The workshop was instrumental in providing an insight into the ethical, scientific and professional management of aquatic fauna.



NMCG-WII team at Mukteshwar Ghat, Sahibganj (Jharkhand) celebrated Earth Day on 22nd April, 2018, with the assistance of State Forest Department, Jharkhand. Students from local schools (St. Xavier School, St. Joseph School, Providence School, Shibu Soren Jan Jatiya College, Sahibganj College) participated in a series of events organized on the occasion. The event also marked the participation of under privileged children from local community present at the Ghat. The theme of this event was ‘Plastic Consumption and Its Impact on Environment’ with special focus on fresh water river ecosystem. The event started with an interactive session with students, after which the NMCG-WII team introduced them to the project Biodiversity conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. Highlighting the importance of the ‘Earth Day’ theme of this year’s celebration – End Plastic Pollution was introduced to the participant. Briefing the students on significance of the Aqualife of the Ganga River, the impact of plastic waste on riverine ecosystem was highlighted. After the lecture students put forth their perception on the said theme through a drawing competition, which was categorized into junior (Nursery to 6th) and senior (6th above) categories. Besides these, the unprivileged students on the Ghats also participated in the competition. The participants beautifully canvassed their thoughts and perception on threats of plastic waste on ecology and environment of fresh water ecosystem. The event concluded with prize distribution to the winners by Divisional Forest Officer Mr. Manish Tiwari IFS, Jharkhand.



A series of orientation meetings and workshops are being organized in Uttarkashi for the newly identified and recruited Ganga Praharis.



Inspired and sensitized Ganga Praharis, are putting their efforts for cleaning of the Ganga River by innovative methods, which is visible in the field. These Ganga Praharis are inspiring their community members too by promoting and following good practices for waste disposal.


At Kahalgaon, the fishermen have done wall writing themselves, have installed dustbins and also innovated floating dustbins or waterbins. Waterbins are made of mosquito nets, which float on the water surface. These waterbins are meant for collecting the religious waste that otherwise keeps floating on the surface of the Ganga River.



Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG); Shri Rozy Agarwal, Executive Director (Finance), NMCG; Shri Avinash D. Ghushe, OSD, Minister (MoWR, RD, GR); Shri Praveen Kumar, Director (Technical); Dr. Raghav Langar, Project Director, State Project Management Group, Uttarakhand and Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG, visited Wildlife Institute of India, on 18th April 2018. Aim of the visit was to appraise the activities carried out under the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project. The project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” is an integral part NMCG’s vision for Ganga Rejuvenation by restoring Ganga’s ecological integrity.
The WII-NMCG project team members comprising of the faculty and project personnel participated in the meeting.
The dignitaries were welcomed by Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G, WII and were felicitated with Rudraksh sapling and framed photographs of the priority aquatic species of the Ganga River. After the felicitation ceremony, Dr. S.A. Hussain, Scientist-G, WII gave a brief introduction about the establishment, mission, objective and structure of the Wildlife Institute of India. He presented an overview of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project, related to its inception, aim, objectives, components and the activities that have been completed and are ongoing. The dignitaries were also shown the relevant and key publications: brochures, books and reports related to the project.
Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra and other dignitaries were appreciative about the activities carried out under the project. Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra appreciated the concept of Ganga Prahari and capacity building activities carried out for different stakeholders. He was pleased with the brochures, booklets and reports published so far and was impressed with the use of digital media, print media and social media for creating awareness amongst the public regarding aquatic diversity of the Ganga River and Ganga rejuvenation. Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra concluded that integration and a holistic approach is the key for the rejuvenation of the Ganga River.
After the meeting, the dignitaries were taken on a brief tour to the Ganga Aqualife Conservation Monitoring Centre (GACMC), the laboratories, and the newly built UNESCO C2C building in the WII premises.




As a part of the capacity building and stakeholder involvement initiative of the project, a three days National Level Workshop for Ganga Praharis of five Ganga River States was organized at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), from 11th- 13th March 2018. About 200 participants from five Ganga River States participated in this workshop. The inaugural function was graced by Shri. Madan Kaishik, Honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Development Authority, Government of Uttarakhand, H. H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati Ji, representatives from National Mission for Clean Ganga and various other Governmental and Non-Governmental organisations. This was the first interaction workshop for these volunteers. This workshop was a platform for orientation of Ganga Praharis towards the objectives and approach of the project and interaction with each other to understand the concerns of Ganga River conservation and initiatives undertaken in this respect.

The three days programme had both informative and participatory sessions. Dr. S.A. Hussain, Project Co-ordinator gave an overview of objectives and approach of the project, followed by a presentation by Dr. Ruchi Badola, Project Co-Coordinator, on the role and responsibilities of Ganga Praharis. Expressing her contentment over the presence of such a huge gathering Dr. Badola highlighted that Ganga Praharis will be role model for rest of the society. She informed that capacity building programmes specific to biodiversity conservation are planned in future for Ganga Praharis. During these capacity building programmes Ganga Prahari will be trained to assist the WII-NMCG team for microplanning, ecological surveys, cleanliness of Ganga, first hand reporting and handling of animal in distress, liaison with the state forest departments, community mobilization, establishing links between people and current schemes and livelihood related skill development. State-wise structure of Ganga Prahari team was also explained to the participants. As part of the structure, cluster leaders from each state have been identified, these cluster leaders will report about the onsite activities to the Community officers/research teams from WII. The overall activities of the five states will be coordinated by the Programme co-ordinator and the final reporting will be made to the Programme Advisors, Dr. Ruchi Badola and Dr. S.A. Hussain. The Ganga Praharis were briefed about the activities that they have to perform and were asked to conduct any of the two activities per village per month. Highlighting the benefits Dr. Badola assured that the Ganga Praharis would be linked to various research and social institutes for acquiring training in the field of their interest. WII-NMCG team will impart them training in biodiversity monitoring, handling of animal in distress and spreading awareness on conservation of biodiversity of the Ganga River.

A success story on Solid Waste Management was shared by Mr. Mayank Pandey from Muskan Jyoti, an NGO based in Sharanpur. Mr. Arvind Mishra, State Consultant Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), Bihar spoke on the issues of local fishermen and also presented a model of species restoration for Greater Adjutant in the Ganga and Kosi flood plains, of Bhagalpur district, Bihar. Dr. Ravindra Bohra, National Wash Coordinator, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (Parmarth Niketan) gave an insight on cleanliness through his lecture on 'Cleanliness Basic Need of Today : Ab Nahi To Kab'. WII-NMCG team members presented the activities done under the project in the five Ganga River States. On the second day of the workshop, the Ganga Parharis actively participated in cleanliness drive through Shramdaan at the ashram and Ghats along the Ganga River at Rishikesh. Ganga Parharis shared their experiences, issues and activities related to biodiversity conservation in their respective states during the group discussion. Participants expressed great pleasure on meeting Ganga Praharis from other states and were determined to join hands with the WII-NMCG team towards biodiversity conservation and Ganga rejuvenation. The workshop concluded with a field visit to Devprayag on 13th March 2018. At Devprayag, the Ganga Praharis took part in a plantation drive at Omkaranand Degree College. They also planted saplings of indigenous tree species having medicinal and economic value. This was followed by a visit to Sangam Ghat (confluence to Alaknanda and Bhagirathi), Devprayag, where the participants had firsthand experience of ecological and cultural significance of the Ganga River.

Take away message of this workshop was that each and every Ganga Prahari is the leader of masses and will ensure conservation of Ganga River’s biodiversity.



The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted four days training workshop for postgraduates on “Biodiversity Conservation and methodology of baseline survey of indicator species of Ganga River”. A total of 20 participants from Serampore College, Hooghly, West Bengal attended the training workshop.
The objective of the workshop was to create awareness among the youth about the biodiversity of the Ganga River, importance of aqualife conservation in the Ganga rejuvenation process, train them in different monitoring methods, rescue & rehabilitation techniques and highlight the importance of participatory management in conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga River.
The training workshop was conducted from 12th – 15th February, 2018 at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The workshop was divided into two technical sessions, viz ecological monitoring and participatory management. Field visits to Asan Conservation Reserve, Uttarakhand, Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh were also organized for the participants.
On the first day of the workshop, Dr. Sangeeta Angom (Training Coordinator), commenced the workshop by welcoming the participants, and introduced the NMCG-WII project. This was followed by a talk from Dr. Shivani Barthwal (Research Associate) on the social, cultural & ecological significance of the river Ganga. Subsequently, Dr. Gowri Mallapur (Subject Matter Specialist-Veterinarian) discussed about the rescue and rehabilitation techniques of turtles, crocodiles and dolphins for first responders. After this the participants were taken for a visit to Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh where Dr. Ravindra Bohra (National WASH Coordinator) gave a short discourse on “Water conservation and Wash Issues” in which global water crisis, recent scenario of water resources of India and the importance of water conservation. After this Dr. Arvind Dwivedi (Project Associate) talked about river monitoring variables and demonstrated different monitoring techniques. This was followed by Ganga Aarti. After which H.H Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati Ji, blessed the students and conducted a “Water Blessing” ceremony, where all the participants along with Swami ji poured water on a globe symbolizing our commitment towards water conservation issues.

On the second day of the workshop, the participants were taken on field visit to Asan Conservation Reserve situated at the confluence of Yamuna and Asan River, Uttarakhand. The wetland comprises of an area of 4.44 sq.km and is known for its resident and migratory avifauna. The students observed and counted migratory birds like Shelduck, Bar headed Goose, Common Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Palla’s Gull, Tufted Duck and Egrets, Cormorants, Water Redstarts, Swallows. The particpants were also given a brief idea on the use of GPS and the methods of line transect and point count. The session concluded with a visit to Vigyan Dham, Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST).

On third day the participants visited the Nature trail at WII campus, where they were enlightened about the flora and fauna of the campus. This was followed by a small visit to the Forensic and GIS laboratories. In the afternoon the participants were taken to HESCO, where Padma Shri Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi emphasized the importance of community participation for Biodiversity Conservation.

The technical session for the fourth day consisted of a group activity followed by a talk of Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, (Project Scientist) on community participation in river conservation, through a series of activities. These activities emphasized the importance of participatory management and approaches and interventions required to mobilize community for the conservation activities. After the technical session the students were taken to Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for a field visit. The workshop concluded with certificate distribution to the participants.



The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted two days training workshop for officials of the Narora Atomic Power Station, under its Environmental Stewardship Program (NAPS-ESP) and frontline forest staffs of Uttar Pradesh forest department (UPFD), Bulandshahar Division on “Aquatic Species Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” emphasizing the role of rescue and rehabilitation of species of conservation significance, in the biodiversity conservation of Ganga River.
Under the Chairmanship of Mr. Subhasis Patra, Maintenance Superintendent, NAPS and the gracious presence of Shri. Virendra Kumar Jain, DFO, Bulandhshahr the 2-days training workshop started on 1st February, 2018 at NAPS Guest House, Narora. The workshop was attended by 14 participants from NAPS and 8 from UPFD. The session started with a brief description of the 2-days program by Ms. Monika Sharma. The participants and presenters introduced themselves.
Mr. Subhasis Patra, formally welcomed the participants and WII-NMCG team members and briefly described NAPS and its activities under Environment Stewardship Programme. Emphasizing the contribution of NAPS-ESP towards biodiversity and ecosystem conservation for more than 10 years, he told that the technical input by WII will strengthen the conservation efforts of NAPS. He also told that the association with WII will be of long term and the rescue centre established at NAPS under NMCG-WII Ganga Project will continue to contribute in species restoration program in Ganga River. He also promised to designate a place for an interpretation centre at NAPS. During the technical session, Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Project Scientist, introduced the WII-NMCG project and briefly described the project progress so far. Elaborating the ecological significance of rivers and wetlands he described the technicalities of river ecosystem conservation to sustain its ecosystem service values. Afterward Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, Conservation Officer, gave an overview of different techniques of rescue and rehabilitation of crocodile and turtles. Using different case studies, he also shared his experience of rescue operations. He also discussed the collaborative rescue efforts of WII and NAPS at the Ganga Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (GAWRRC) established at NAPS remises.
This was followed by a brief description about the “Husbandry Practices for turtles and crocodiles” by Dr. Niladri Dasgupta. He pleaded to NAPS officials and forest staffs to follow scientific protocols for rescue and rehabilitation operations and told that greater collaboration and coordination is needed for rapid respond to emergency situations. Emphasizing the fact that community participation is elementary in any conservation programme, Ms. Shashi Joshi, Community Officer, briefly described the activities done in the NMCG-WII project to ensure long-term association of riverside communities of 17 villages of Dibai block and 3 villages of Anupshahr block in the Ganga Rejuvenation. She also explained how communities are coming forward in the mission of biodiversity restoration and Ganga rejuvenation process, after developing linkages and livelihood opportunities for them. She concluded that, the cadre of Ganga Prahari, volunteers from the local communities, established under the project are dedicated to the mission and will also be helpful as informers and aqualife rescue operations. Thereafter Dr. Niladri Dasgupta presented a talk on the topic “Biodiversity Monitoring of Aquatic Species in Ganga River”. He explained different techniques used in monitoring of aquatic mammals, waterbirds, crocodiles, turtles and fishes. Briefly stating the river variables and their monitoring techniques, he explained the importance of habitat conservation in species restoration process.
In the concluding session a group discussion was held on how effectively the aims of NMCG-WII project for rescue and rehabilitation of aqualife of the Ganga River may be implemented in the western Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with NAPS and UPFD. The workshop was concluded by Shri. Virendra Kumar Jain, DFO, Bulandhshahr. He appreciated the efforts initiated by the WII-NMCG team and NAPS officials towards conservation programmes. Recognizing the fact that there is a dire need of protection of sandy river banks and islands from being exploited for agriculture, which are habitats for freshwater turtles and nesting waterbirds. He suggested designation of such areas upstream and downstream of the Narora barrage, through a joint survey by WII and UPFD. He offered his full support for this and encouraged all the participants to continue the conservation efforts.

On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, 2nd February, 2018 a field training was conducted at Narwar Ghat from 8:30 am till 12:30 pm with 26 participants, with 30 students from Rajghat Inter-college and 7 Ganga Prahri.
Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, and Mr. Aftab Alam Usmani from WII and Mr. Raja Mandal, NAPS-ESP formally introduced the Ghat characteristics and the floral and faunal diversity of that area. After that participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group was headed by two researchers from WII-NMCG team. Each group were taken for a 2 km walk along the Ganga River. The participants were trained on monitoring of river and wetland variables, identification and counting of waterbirds and freshwater turtles and degradative anthropogenic activities like agriculture and dumping of solid waste.
The staffs UPFD and NAPS-ESP visited the Ganga Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre and Dr. Niladri Dasgupta gave a brief description of the ecology and identifying features of different rescued turtles at the centre. He also described the operational features of the husbandry ponds at the centre.
In conclusion, the participants from UPFD and NAPS-ESP pledged to collaborate and coordinate more in future for all conservation and rescue works to conserve the aqualife in the Ganga River.



 The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) organized a one day Consultative workshop for the Uttarakhand State Programme Management Group (SPMG) and volunteers of Ganga Vichar Manch, Uttarakhand on “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun on 29th January, 2018. Apart from Senior Scientist and WII-NMCG Project team, about 30 participants representing various state departments working in collaboration with SPMG, Uttarakhand participated in the workshop. The programme commenced with a small tour to the Wild Trail at WII campus. Dr. B.S. Adhikari, Scientist-F, Wildlife Institute of India and Dr. Niladri Dasgupta (Project Scientist), enlightened the participants about flora and fauna of the campus. After which, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G and senior professor welcomed the participants of the workshop. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. S.A. Hussain, Scientist- G and coordinator of the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project. Dr. Hussain gave an overview of the project objectives, its six components andthe progress made so far. He also talked about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga river, status of the major species found in it and the principles of restoration that needs to be adapted for Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Thereafter the six components of the project were explained individually by WII team members. Dr. Niladri Dasgupta (Project Scientist) outlined the objectives and outputs of the first component i.e. Establishment of Ganga Aqualife Conservation Monitoring Centre. The second component, Planning Aquatic Species Restoration for Ganga River was explained by Dr. Arvind Dwivedi (Project Associate). Dr. Dwivedi explained the methodology adopted for the biodiversity survey along the Ganga river and results obtained. He also explained about GIS mapping to study the distribution and abundance of various species along the stretch of the Ganga river. Afterward Dr. Sangeeta Angom (Training Coordinator) gave a brief summary of the third component, Capacity Development of Forest Department and other Stakeholders. She emphasized on the importance of why capacity development of Forest department and other stakeholders such as youth, religious group, local communities, industries is necessary for Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. Dr. Animesh Talukdar (Project Associate) talked about the fourth component Establishment of Rescue and Rehabilitation centres. He gave a brief summary of the activities that is being carried out at the two rescue and rehabilitation centres that have already been established at Narora and Sarnath. Subsequently Dr. Ruchi Badola (Scientis-G) explained the fifth component i.e. Community based Conservation programmes for species restoration. Dr. Badola emphasized on the convergence of various organizations and institutes towards the conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga River, highlighting the role of local communities in the success of these efforts. She talked about a cadre of volunteers from the five Ganga states. These young volunteers have been named as Ganga Praharis. Through this forum she appealed to the organizations to involve these foot soldiers in various activities related to the clean Ganga mission. Ms. Dimpi Patel (Project Fellow) outlined the objectives, activities and progress of the sixth component, Nature Interpretation and Education for Biodiversity conservation. She spoke about the importance of conservation education amongst the local people and different methods like organizing Exhibitions and Puppet shows, distribution of posters, leaflets and fact sheets being done to achieve this. A visit to the Forensic, GIS and Ecotoxicology laboratories was also arranged. This was followed by a group discussion with the participants wherein they agreed to take up one stretch of Ganga and create it into a model stretch through the convergence of various departments and agencies working there. The workshop concluded with certificate distribution to the participants.