OzGREEN programs connect youth with communities to become leaders of innovative sustainable social change

Also Day 10- Varanasi

The day that we left Australia, the Adani mine (biggest coal mine in the world) who's building will destroy the Barrier Reef and cause climate chaos, was approved. 

The original cause for this trip to India- a year and a half ago- was the alarming news that the Ganga was going to be turned into a transport harbour for mega coal barrages. When the news of this went away, we calmed down. 

However now, as the Adani mine has been approved and stories of mega coal ports have began to float around India, I am lead to ponder on the question- Where is the Adani coal going?

The story is that there are plans for barrages to be build on Ganga, the river is to be dredged to a depth of 5metres deep and 50metres wide, so as to allow the shipping of coal in mega ships up river to mega coal ports.

If this takes place it won't matter what work is done here at Sankat Mochan Foundation, it will not matter how hard the youth fight and protest for effective sewage treatment systems, it won't even matter if Varanasi has the best sewage treatment systems in the world. 

The development would cause environmental chaos and destroy the cultural integrity of Mother Ganga. 

The conservation of the barrier reef has been a cause close to my heart- thinking about the Adani Mine brings literal tears to my eyes. Where are we headed? Into a world of climate catastrophe, a world without Australia's beautiful Barrier Reef, without India's cherished and vitally needed Mother Ganga. 

I don't know about you, but that is not where I want to be. 

We do not need a river of sewage, we do not need coal. 

We need awareness, we need united action. 

This afternoon, a few minutes before we leave for the airport, we send prayers out to Ganga. Holding my candle, I look down into the water; diluted sewage lapping up against the littered banks, malla's sinking into an abyss of pollution. 

Slowly placing my candle into the water, I pray for Ganga. I am not and never have been a religious person, but in this moment, with tears in my eyes and an emptiness in my heart, I pray for Ganga and for my beloved Barrier Reef. I pray for the millions of people and animals who rely on Ganga for life, for the eco-systems within the Barrier Reef. I pray for those who have dedicated their lives to these causes, and to those who are blissfully- or perhaps ignorantly- unaware. I pray for the future, my future