Tag archives for Ganges
On this week’s show, meet a woman who free-dives with great white sharks, a man who skied to the North Pole in the darkness of winter, and photographers who can turn such darkness into a colorful portrait of a world we can’t see.
The latest figures on water quality in the Ganges, straight from the Central Pollution Control Board—a government organisation charged with monitoring it daily during the Kumbh Mela—suggest that contrary to earlier reports, it’s neither drinkable nor batheable. Given that 80-odd million people are expected to bathe in the river during the festival, I asked head of medical…
Allahabad is a city of 1.2 million people, and despite the proximity of its bigger, noisier neighbour, the Kumbh Mela, life goes on there—including death. The funeral ghats on the Ganges were moved away from the sangam—the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers—for the duration of the festival, but they are still within the…
If you climb up to high ground above the river plain, you begin to get a sense of the scale of the Kumbh Mela, especially at night. It stretches off in all directions. The sky above it is as light as the sky over a large metropolis, only there are no highrises here—nothing much higher than a lamp-post, in fact. The noise from hundreds of loudspeakers is incessant and very loud—like a human rainforest, technically enhanced.
The stars are aligned. The first aiders are on standby. The latrines are dug. And the city of Allahabad is waiting to see how many tens of millions of people will descend on it between now and March 10. One thing is certain: the Kumbh Mela, a giant gathering of Hindu pilgrims that takes place every 12 years in four cities in northern India, and that is celebrated this year in Allahabad, is unique.
Negotiations in New Delhi to end the 43-day hunger strike of a noted environmental scientist have stalled on the basic issue of trust: According to G.D. Agrawal’s supporters, the government of India has agreed to suspend work on four hydroelectric projects on the upper reaches of the Ganges River, but refuses to commit its pledge to writing.
“At the moment I am quite resigned to my fate,” GD Agrawal, the 80-year-old dean of India’s environmental engineers, says from his hospital bed in the holy city of Varanasi. Agrawal hasn’t eaten since February 8. He hasn’t taken a drink of water since March 8; an intravenous drip of dextrose and vitamins keeps him lucid.
An 11-day hunger strike by the swami of a small ashram ended on Monday night when the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand banned stone and sand mining from the Ganges riverbed near the city of Haridwar pending an environmental impact statement.