Eco Friends is involved in mobilization and organization of the village communities that are directly and adversely affected by river and tannery pollution. We have been continuously working in twenty villages inhabited by almost 50,000 people. Eco Friends has formed Ganga Vahini (Ganga Task Force) in all the 20 villages. We highlighted their problems and facilitated the process of redress of their problems. A number of activities such as series of meetings, public hearings and rallies were organized.
Eco Friends has been endeavoring to prepare the Ganga communities as Ganga Praharis (River Watchdogs) and involve them directly in Ganga cleaning efforts. A large number of people living on the banks of river Ganga have direct dependence on the river for their livelihood. These include fisher folk, washer folk, boatmen and the traditional cremator communities like Doms and Pandas. Due to severe pollution, reduced flow, and deserted ghats as a consequence of shifting of the river course in Kanpur, people no longer visit ghats and take boat rides, thereby affecting the livelihood of the Ganga communities. A clean and healthy river is in the interest of Ganga communities. It is envisaged that the Ganga-based communities would help to stop the people from throwing worship and other waste materials into the river as well as provide us the feedback about other kinds of pollution such as dead body dumping into the river. Further, the Ganga Praharis are also expected to prevent people from poaching of turtles and other aquatic life in the river. Eco Friends has adopted Massacre ghat to develop it as a model ghat with the help of Ganga community. Ganga communities have played a vital role in controlling the practice of dead body dumping in Ganga at Kanpur. Thousands of bodies, which were meant for dumping in the river, have been given burial at Burihya ghat in Kanpur.
Eco Friends is also working in Noraiakheda area where the groundwater is contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides.