A young boy is studying computer science in Kerala, he has been at the Ashram named Matri Sadan for over five years. In the year 2014, the 22-year old boy left his home and family to journey towards the Himalaya to find spirituality. Now at the age of 26, he is known as Swami Aatmabodhanand. He commenced the protest on October 24, 2018.
AatmabodhanandAatmabodhanand is very young, when he noticed what was happening, he decided to do something. He encouraged by the protest visibly, joined it, sacrificing his life at a very young age and wouldn’t gain anything personally.
Last year in October, environmental activist G.D Agarwal, also known as Swami Sanand died after fasting for 111 days for clean Ganga. Sant Sanand was supported by Matri Sadan the ashram. Matri Sadan Ashram opposes the government or public action which harm the environment, through protest and litigation.
Aatmabodhanand exchanged some words over the phone call from Haridwar to Patriot, he seems confident of carrying on. Whereas his physical condition is declining, he claims with a slight laugh, “My aatmik (soul) and mental strength have only become stronger”. He depends only lemonade and honey and is on the 128th day of his fast.
He gave very heart-melting answer when asked how long he would carry the hunger strike, he replied that another sanyasi is training to take over. This is my preparation to carry this hunger strike ahead. He said when "my body passes away, he’ll carry on this fast".
The Ashram is headed by Swami Shivanand with the promise that if anything were to happen to him, someone from the Ashram would take up the responsibility. After his death, one of the senior-most men of the Ashram, Brahmachari Dayanand announced to continue the fast. But this young volunteer Aatmabodhanand who has been at the Ashram for over the five years had convinced them to continue the movement ahead.
Before Aatmabodhanand’s protest Sant Sanand passed away after fasting for 111 days for the same cause.
Aatmabodhanand requested to be allowed to protest, putting forth his case that people in the south of India reverted the Ganga as much as people in the north.
By this protest, they wanted to protect river Ganga from pollution. They wanted to stop construction of the under-construction, dams on Ganga namely: Singoli-Bhatwari, Tapovan-Vishnugad and Vishnugad-Peepkotti. Through this protest Aatmabodhanand wants to stop Ganga River pollution.
This is the 10th Hunger -strike of Aatmabodhanand. Before this strike, he had protested the mining in Kumbh region and against the extension of the Kumbh area in Haridwar.
For his daily nutrition, Aatmabodhanand took sips of a mixture of water, honey and lemon. He spends most of his time meeting visitors to discuss issues around the Ganga.
On October 9, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had assured that “things will be done”, but nothing happened thereafter. Instead Sant Sanand died and Aatmabodhanand awaits a government who reportedly does not have time to listen.
Something went POSITIVE in the movement...
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) Director General Rajeev Ranjan met him on 25th April and gave him in written that steps will be taken regarding dams as discussed. And also assured to take actions against Ganga miming.
The day 5th may 2019 Swami Aatmabodhanand broke his 194 days fast to save Ganga after getting written assurances from NMCG. Aatmabodhanand reveled to ANI, it is a positive initiative of the government and NMGC so I have broke my fast for now.