The 86-year-old IIT-Kanpur professor had survived on just 3 glasses of water since 22 June. Three days ago, Agrawal gave up even that.
New Delhi: Nearly four months after he began his fast-unto-death for an ‘eternal’ Ganga on 22 June, IIT-Kanpur professor-turned environmental activist G.D. Agrawal passed away Thursday in Haridwar.
The death of 86-year-old Agrawal comes three days after he told ThePrint he was planning to stop drinking water from 9 October. From the time that he began his fast, Agrawal was surviving on just three glasses of water.
“On Tuesday, around noon, I will give up water,” Agrawal had told ThePrint. “I don’t want to go into all the details anymore. I barely have any energy left.”
This was Agrawal’s sixth hunger strike for the Ganga since he began his crusade in 2008. In 2010, he went without food for 34 days.
Popularly known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, Agrawal was on fast-unto-death at Kankhal near Haridwar over four main demands to make Ganga ‘aviral’ (eternal) — pass the Ganga Protection Act; stop all hydroelectric projects (proposed or under construction) in the upper reaches of the Ganga and its tributaries (Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, etc); ban river bed sand mining in the Haridwar region, and form an autonomous body to manage the affairs of the river.
‘Govt has done nothing’
His decision to stop taking water was aimed at putting more pressure on the government to accept his demands.
“The government has done nothing till now. That is the situation. I will probably only have a few days left after I quit water, but I will stay committed to this until my last breath” Agrawal had told ThePrint.
All that the Narendra Modi government did as a matter of response to his fast was send him a series of letters from Uma Bharati, former minister for Ganga rejuvenation, and Nitin Gadkari, who has succeeded her in that ministry.
However, the letters, Agrawal was of the opinion, were just for show and the government meant little of what was contained in the letters.