New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) organised the grand finale of Ganga Quest 2021 on World Environment Day on Saturday.
Ganga Quest is an online global quiz contest on Ganga and rivers, first conceptualized in 2019 as an educational programme to sensitize people, specially youth and students, towards rivers of the country.
The quiz is organized by NMCG in association with Tree Craze Foundation.
This year 1.1 million people registered for the quiz from 113 countries and 216 participants were selected for the grand finale based on their performance of which 215 are Indian nationals and one is from UAE.
Congratulating the winners of preliminary rounds among lakhs of participants, , NMCG Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said Ganga Quest focuses not only on Ganga but the entire ecosystem.
"The aim of the quiz is to ensure learning happens with fun," he said.
An official release said the 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 release said that Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has inspired Team NMCG to make it a million plus quiz and make it a regular feature.
Mishra said Ganga Quest this year has tremendously improved its footprint with participation from all states, UTs, remote areas of the country and also from several other countries.
He lauded the work carried out by partner institutions, voluntary groups such as NYK Ganga Doots, Ganga Mitras, Praharis, Ganga Vichar Manch to strengthen the resolve for Ganga conservation
Mishra 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 happiness 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 said there is no other programme in terms of scale, magnitude and holistic approach.
"Through the World Bank, we are engaging with many river conservation programmes 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 programme to other countries," she said
"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," she added.
Rozy Agrawal, Executive Director-Finance, NMCG called the quiz a "maha- abhiyaan" in which many educational, independent and volunteer organizations contributed.
"This year 1.1 million people registered for the quiz from 113 countries and 216 participants were selected for the grand finale based on their performance of which 215 are Indian nationals and one is from UAE," he said.
Bhawna Badola, CEO of Tree Craze Foundation, said that over the years, the enthusiasm for Ganga Quest has increased manifold.
She said 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 said to ensure more and more people can join the quiz, it is conducted in Hindi and English and for the first time all states and union territories participated. It was 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, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh.
In terms of gender, the winners are quite equally distributed (male -110, female-106).
Amongst winners, 215 winners are from all across India and only 1 winner is from UAE.
Winners belonged to 24 different states with Uttar Pradesh having the highest number of top three winners, followed by Delhi, and Jharkhand.
The event was also joined by the noted singer Kailesh Kher, who sang an inspirational song on Namami Gange.
The release said noted actor Rajeev Khandelwal also joined and recollected his association with tele-series "Rag Rag Me Ganga' helping him understand Mother Ganga.
He 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 more than 75,000 viewers on different online forums. The viewers were also from several countries including US, UAE, Nepal, Pakistan, Finland apart from India. (ANI)