India: Ganges – Science Vs Faith

I live in Dehra Dun and frequently visit the various points in the Himalayas, which mark the flow of the Ganges from Gangotri, the most accessible high point of Ganges’ meanderings all the way to the Bay of Bengal.

DMM subscriber, Ajay Puri, sent this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/health/ganges-drug-resistant-bacteria.html The NYT article highlights the continuing battle between empirical scientific evidence vs faith.

All evidence points to health dangers of exposing oneself to Ganges’ waters, but millions continue to bathe in it. The starkest example is the 14-yearly Khumb Mela, when literally over 2 million people bathe in it in Allahabad.

The pollution of the Ganges has been known for decades. Back in 1985, Rajiv Gandhi launched a scheme to clean up the river. Financial allocations were swallowed by local officials. No progress at all. The issue remained dormant until the advent of the Modi Government in 2014. He unveiled the Namami Ganged Programme to abate pollution, promote conservation and rejuvenation of the river and its tributaries. It is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Budget: $3bn over 5 years.

The objective is to achieve all this by 2020. But that is a fairy tale.

 

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#Ganges, #Faith