Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today released a coffee table book on ‘Ganga Avahan’, a 2,800 km exploratory open-water swim expedition on the Ganga river. The book – “Ganga Avahan – The Epic Tale of a Historic Swim”, is on the first-ever human effort to swim down the entire stretch of the river, an official release said. It is also the longest ever social campaign undertaken through an adventure sporting activity for the Swachh Bharat Mission, Clean Ganga project and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative. A nine-member team of three swimmers and the rest rafters from the three services of the Indian Armed Forces, led by acclaimed international open-water swimmer Wing Commander Paramvir Singh was flagged-off here by Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on the first anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission on October 1, 2015. The expedition commenced on October 8, 2015 at Devprayag, where Bhagirathi and Alaknanda merge and the Ganga begins and it culminated 43 days later on November 19, 2015.
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The coffee table book chronicles their entire extraordinary and indeed fascinating journey, detailing experiences, outreach and challenges along the vast civilizational cradle that is the Ganga. The Foreword of this epic expedition is written by the Prime Minister, the release said. The team had campaigned extensively for Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, reaching out to villagers, town folk, civic authorities and NGOs, managing to interact with tens of lakhs of people all along the route as they undertook their extraordinary and highly challenging odyssey. The function was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Lt Gen Satish Dua besides other senior officers from the Tri- Services, the release added.