River Ganga has lost its most vocal supporter after environmental activist GD Agarwal breathed his last at AIIMS hospital in Rishikesh on Thursday.
86-year-old Agarwal was on an indefinite fast since June 22 to urge the government to clean Ganga. For the last 111 days, Agarwal’s diet was only water with honey. Intensifying his protest, Agarwal had threatened that he would stop taking water on the onset of Navaratri. And this is what actually happened.
On Wednesday, Agarwal to hospital when his condition worsened. According to AIIMS Rishikesh director Ravi Kant, the veteran activist died of a heart attack.
While Agarwal was suffering from multiple ailments, he had undertaken a similar fast in the past as well.
Also known as Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand, Agarwal’s name became synonymous with ‘Clean Ganga’ movement.
Not only was Agarwal opposed to the pollution of river Ganga, he fiercely contested government’s decision to generate electricity from the river. Prior to his activism, Agarwal was a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. He had also served on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
(With inputs from PTI)