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Swami Sanand was previously known as Dr G D Agarwal, Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been undertaking penance by abstaining from food except water and honey for the last 73 days at Matri Sadan, Haridwar. Swami Sanand is demanding that two hydropower projects, namely, Singoli Bhatwari on Mandakini and Vishnugaad Pipalkoti on Alaknanda, which are under construction, should be scrapped. He is also demanding that an Act for the conservation of Ganga may be passed immediately. However, the Central Government has not taken any initiative to fulfil his demands and his health continuous to deteriorate at the time of writing of this post. 

Swami Sanand explains that the exceptional qualities of the Ganga are due to certain good bacteria called Coliphage. These bacteria die in the tunnels of the hydropower projects where they are depriving of oxygen, and when they hit the blades of the turbines of the hydropower projects. The ability of the Ganga to kill harmful bacteria is due to the presence of the certain metals like copper in its water. These metals enter the water because of the rubbing of the water during her flow. By converting Ganga into reservoir and tunnels, this rubbing with the stones is removed and as a result the metals do not enter the water and the ability of the water to kill bacteria gets deteriorated. Swami Sanand says that the deterioration in the spiritual qualities of the Ganga can be seen by noting the difference in the impacts of taking bath in her water upstream and downstream of hydropower projects. Ganga was brought from the hills by King Bhagirath for providing salivation to his dead ancestors. These spiritual qualities of the Ganga are exceptional and they should be protected by stopping the construction of these hydropower projects.

Swami Sanand says that the spiritual qualities of the Ganga water are attested not only in the Hindu text but even Mughal emperors like Akbar and Aurangzeb and a large number of Rajput Kings used to obtain water of the Ganga for drinking purposes. They believed that the Ganga water had the property of removing diseases and invigorating the spirit.

Swami Sanand is very sad on the disinterest of the Hindu religious leaders on conserving the Ganga. Swami had become desciple of Swami Avimukteshwaranand in 2011. Swami Avimukteshwaranand, in turn, is a disciple of Swami Swaroopanand, Shankarachaarya of Joshimath and Dwarka.  Swami Avimukteshwaranand along with Swami Sanand and three other persons had taken a wow to at Ganga Sagar to fast unto death for the conservation of the river Ganga. Swami Sanand started his penance by abstaining from food after his return from Ganga Sagar. However, this fast was not acceptable to Swami Swaroopanand. Certain Ministers of the Congress Government prevailed upon Swami Saroopanand, who prevailed upon Swami Avimukteshwaranand, who ordered Swami Sanand to give up his fast. Swami Sanand feels that he has been cheated by his Spiritual Gurus Swami Avimukteshwaranand and Swami Saroopanand. Instead of conserving river Ganga these religious leaders have forced him to give up the fast that he had been undertaking for the conservation of the river Ganga. Swami Sanand says that Swami Avimukteshwaranand is not able to resist Swami Swaroopanand since he is interested in becoming the Shankaracharya after Swami Swaroopanand.

On decimating his body in such penance Swami Sanand says that the body is like a horse. It has to be used for attaining the objective. The body is not the end. Therefore he is determined to give up his body in ordered to conserve river Ganga.

You can hear Swami Sanand in his own words below.

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