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

Day 8- Varanasi

Sitting, blessed, in Mahant Ji's new and renovated 'thrown room' (basically a beautiful meeting room), Sue hums and the softness fills my ears. 

A few days earlier an American singer song writer - Betsy Rose - came to stay at Tulsi Ghat. On the second day of our facilitator training, at the end of an intense day of training and brain storming and planning, Betsy Rose sat down with our trainees. And then she sang. She sang "We Will Overcome", a song of resilience and perseverance. In no time at all everyone was singing along, then modifying the song to suit Ganga, then singing again in Hindi.

The words echoed through the room, out onto Ganga and then into the foggy nights sky: 

Ganga hogi saaf, Ganga hogi saaf,

ham karenge pryas saath saath, 

oh man me hai vishvas,

pura hai vishvas,

Ganga hogi saaf saath saath

I watched how the energy changed, how the students beamed with anticipation and inspiration. Whatever heaviness and sorrow that was left after discussing our concerns was now gone, the mood was shifted- all through song. How divine. 

Since that night, this Ganga song has come to represent everything we are working towards. It has become an embodiment of Sankat Mochan's values. 

Now, sitting in Mahant Ji's thrown room, or preparing breakfast, or perhaps simply sitting by Ganga, the song is subconsciously hummed- following our travels with encouragement, reinforcing the harmonious nature of our campaign, the togetherness of our cause.