Karnavas, Uttar Pradesh (CHAKRA)— Karnavas street plays make reverent references to the Ganga river dolphins.
One of the play performers states the importance of dolphins and the harm that humanity is putting towards them. Dolphins are significant for the surrounding ecosystem in India.
The religious and mythological plays are helping to bring awareness to the harming of the Ganges River Dolphin in India. They populate a 165 km stretch along the Ganga river in UP. The numerous plays are making a difference because the dolphin population has fortunately doubled since the start of the conservation efforts in 1990.
Many of the plays are performed on street corners in Uttar Pradesh by children who chant verses from epic religious texts such as the Ramayan. One of the lines being versed from Valimiki’s Ramayan, highlighted the force by which the Ganga emerged from Lord Shivji’s locks and along with this force came many species such as animals, fish and the Shishumaar—the dolphin.
Another type of dolphin from the same family that also swims along the same river is the Baburnama.
Dr. Sandeep Bahera, Senior Coordinator of the Fresh Water Programme for the World Wildlife Fund in India stated that there are about 60 dolphins in the Ganga river right now compared to 20 in 1990 when the initial conservation effort had started.
The Uttar Pradesh government is bringing up ancient Hindu texts in hopes of raising the community support to save the dolphins from disappearing.