Saving the environment is a purpose for everyone – Sup the Ganges with Starboard

Global Partner

Honoring Earth Day this year, the environmentally conscious brand Starboard Sup, released this video of team rider Shilpika Guatam who took it upon herself to stand up paddle the length of the Ganges River in India to make a statement about the environment.  Her journey, and that of her travel mates, was one of both hardship (heart-ship?) and discovery as they traversed the hallowed waters of the Ganges from source to sound.

Some say its passion.  For Shilpika Guatam, its purpose:  The story of the Ganges River and paddling it from source to sea.

High in the Himalaya’s, the Ganges is pure.  Its sacred waters traverse over 3,000 kilometers and service nearly 500 million people.  It is a vital body of water to millions of people and is considered sacred to the people of India.

“A river of life that is quickly dying.”  – Shilpika Guatam

Stand up paddle Ganges River Starboard India
Stand up paddling the Ganges from source to sound required Starboard’s full line of equipment from touring boards to inflatables in order to traverse the many different styles of water the adventurers crossed.

The Ganges is Her Purpose

But, as we know, the Ganges River is filthy.  Every day over 2.9 billion gallons of waste water, trash, sewage and chemicals are dumped into the Ganges.  It is truly dying.

That is why Shilpika Guatam quit her job as an investment banker and, with her team, decided to make a statement about this important waterway by paddling it from source to sea.  Her wish:  To highlight the need for the people in India to take care of the waters that protect them and sustain them.  It took Shilpika and her team 101 days to paddle the full length of the Ganges.  They averaged about 50 kilometers per day.

“We paddled with dolphins and herds of cattle.  We met thousands of people who worshiped the Ganges as both their mother and their provider.”

Wherever they stopped, they talked to people about the state of the river.  They urged the people along its coastline to create less waste, use less stuff and spend more time outside.

sup Ganges River Starboard India
Everywhere Shilpika went, she spoke to people to raise their awareness about the need to protect the Ganges from further pollution.

India needs a healthy river.  Humanity needs a healthy planet.

We, at Standup Journal, stand by those advocates and paddlers who are acting as stewards for our natural environment.  As paddlers and surfers, we all spend so much time out there enjoying the benefits of our watery playground.  If we share our stories and our love, perhaps we can change humanity’s patterns, one person at a time, to bring waters like the Ganges back to a state of health and ultimately … wealth.  I’m a believer.




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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.