If Ganga gets free from pollution, we can see dolphins taking swipes in the river, entertaining people with their playful twists and turns. Awarded with the title of national aquatic animal, dolphins are only found in water bodies which are pollution free. Their presence is also an indicator of cleanliness of rivers.

The population of dolphins has reduced to 1,800-2,000, out of which 1,200 are found in Ganga alone. They have good presence in river Ganga which passes through Uttar Pradesh, upper parts of Ganga and its tributaries like Ghaghra, Chambal, Sarayu and Gandak.

Being mammals, their population grows at very slow pace and on top of that, pollution in tributaries is resulting in decline of their number.  

In 2009, National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) was constituted to make the river pollution free and Dolphin was declared the national aquatic animal under 'Mission Clean Ganga'. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) and other institutes were given the responsibility to make people aware about it from year 2010-2020.

According to Priti R Kanaujiya, regional convener of CEE, normally people are unaware of the fact that dolphins are living in their area. That is why in first stage, students of nearly 525 schools of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam were made part of the protection mission by organizing ‘Dolphin Club’ and ‘Dolphin fair’.

In the second stage, 20 places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were marked where dolphins have natural habitat.

Dolphins were visible in Kanpur and Allahabad: At present, one might see only pollution in Ganga which passes through Allahabad and Kanpur but there were times when dolphins could be easily seen.

Some dolphins are visible at points where Ganga leaves the Allahabad city. They have very good presence in upper parts of Ganga in Narora, where the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is working for their protection.
Dolphins also have habitats near Hastinapor in Bijnor, Sarayu in Faizabad and Chambal in Etawah but manufacturing of dam and barrage leads to shrinking of their habitat which ultimately results in their death.

Dangers to dolphin: Usually, fishermen use fine nets to catch fish which reduces number of small fish in river and leaves dolphins with minimal food. Not only this, use of fine nets also poses the risk of injuring the dolphins.

Sometimes, these dolphins come to the shore in search of food and get hurt.


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