By

Harshit Mansukhani

A Capstone Project Summary Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the

Requirements for the Degree of

Bachelor of Arts

In

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication

Under the Supervision of:

Professor Sunil Saxena

Times School of Media

Bennett University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

India

2017-2020


Executive Summary

Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Islam, and almost all the major religions of the world have a reference to “holy” water with special healing powers. The unknown source of this water, mythological allusions, and human dependence have all further enhanced its relevance.

In India, this holy water is often referred to as water of the river Ganga. The Ganga occupies a central position in the cultural ethos of India. Legend says that Ganga descended on Earth from heaven after the long and tiring prayers of King Bhagiratha of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who wanted the salvation of his deceased ancestors, were answered.

Ganga originates at a height of 3,892 m (12,770 feet) at Gaumukh in the Himalayas. It originates from the Bhagirathi stream and travels 2525 kms across much of north India before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

From time immemorial Ganga has been the river of faith, pilgrimage, and salvation. Millions of Indians consider its waters as sacred. Even today Indians carry Ganga water to their homes and abroad for its curative and sacred nature.

However, with the turn of the modern age and the introduction of industries, the Ganga has become polluted and is one of the most polluted rivers of the country. In 2014, the Government of India launched a Rs 20,000 Cr. flagship project under the name of “Namami Gange” or “National Mission for Clean Ganga” to fulfill the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of the Ganga River. (Gange, 2019)

The Mission stands on eight pillars that include sewage treatment, river-surface cleaning, afforestation, industrial effluent control and monitoring, river front development, bio-diversity, public awareness, and Ganga Gram. (Gange, 2019)

National Mission for Clean Ganga has been in news since 2014. However, no particular news story has covered the progress of the mission. National Mission for Clean Ganga provides a great opportunity to talk to biological experts, historians, and people attached with the mission, hydrological experts, and everyday Indians about their understanding of pollution of the sacred river. Using the power of digital media and digital storytelling, this capstone project aims to throw light on the plight of the Ganga and the progress made so far by the mission in its sixth year.

This capstone project endeavours to deploy the best available knowledge of digital media and resources across the media spectrum including video, audio, and written interviews. It is a thorough qualitative and quantitative research on Ganga and people living on the banks of the river in Uttar Pradesh from Kanpur to Pryagraj (formerly Allahabad).

“Amongst purifiers, I am the wind, and amongst wielders of weapons, I am Lord Ram. Of water creatures, I am the crocodile, and of flowing rivers, I am the Ganga.” – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, Verse 31.

 

Sources of the Capstone Project

(a) Primary Sources

The capstone project endeavours to bring the best insight and knowledge to advance the message of vision Ganga and for the very same reason, the project will feature insights and inputs from:

  • Sunita Narain, Environmentalist, and Political Activist, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
  • Professor Romilla Thapar, Indian historian, and Professor Emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
  • Professor AK. Gosain, Professor of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
  • S.P Singh Parihar, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board
  • Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga
  • First hand interviews of minimum 25 people including priests, ghat workers, and residents who live on the banks of river Ganga

(b) Secondary Sources

The project would bring forward insights from major secondary sources including websites, news, article and scientific reports relevant to Ganga and the National Mission

1.1.2 (a) Websites to be covered.

(b) Relevant archived and recent news stories will be scanned

(c) Data Sets and Progress Reports from the National Mission for Clean Ganga’s website.

(d) The historical relevance of Ganga from the sacred text of the Bhagavad Gita

(e) Multiple Citations from Research papers, White Papers and previously done work by experts on the River Ganga

 

The Methodology of the Project

The project would follow a ‘Waterfall Methodology’, often referred to as SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), where the planning of the project would happen in whole, then executing through phases/chapters. This methodology would follow an approach strongly based on the pillars of strong planning, doing it once and doing it right, rather than the Agile approach of incremental and repetitive delivery. This will include minimum two video interviews, minimum three E-Mail interviews and minimum one Audio Interview. A thorough qualitative and quantitative research (Survey of 150-200 people) on the impact of the river Ganga. Understanding the datasets from NMCG website consisting of minimum 52 Excel Sheets to cultivate insights.  

The Scope of the Project

The Project will be explored in three chapters. Each Chapter will carry forward the story of the river Ganga and people associated with it.

Chapter I- Red Alert: Ganga before & after Kanpur

Chapter I will explore that development in the last six years of the NMCG, the difference in river watercolour. Level of pollution and the stretch of Ganga bed rejuvenated.

 

Chapter 2: Ganga on its way to Sangam

The chapter will explore experts talking about the challenges that lie ahead, what history can teach us, talking to NMCG representatives on-ground for future goals.

The basic aim of the project would be to understand Human Life Impact of the entire mission in terms of the monetary and psychological impact.

 

Chapter 3:  Varanasi: Ganga looking for Moksh

Chapter 3 will explore people living on the Ghats, riverbanks, basins and what they think would be the future of Ganga. A comparative analysis of the past and future of Indians living next to the river.

The software in use for the Project

The project will be involving the use of various digital software that will provide a breath-taking digital experience to the reader/viewer/listener. Involving the skills learned during the course would be pivotal.

1.3.1 Editing and Correcting Images and Videos

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Apple iMovie (for mobile videos)

1.3.2 Audio Correction

  • Audacity

1.3.3 Data Visualization and Info graphics Creation

  • Canva (canva.com)
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Online Publication

The Format of the Project

The Project is a digital, multi-media project involving storytelling through various media. The project will be published in parts as a blog on the existing blog website, FaultLines.

“One may, by putting forth one’s best powers, count the stones that occur in the mountains of Meru or measure the waters that occur in the ocean, but one cannot count all the merits which belong to the waters of Ganga.” – Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 27, Verse 97

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