Indians celebrate religious day by bathing in a polluted river side ave

NEW DELHI, KOMPAS.com – From above, the Yamuna, one of India’s most sacred rivers, looks like it’s covered in thick snow, but in reality it’s the foam of industrial pollutants.

But on Wednesday (10/11/2021) hundreds of Indian Hindus descended on the foaming and poisonous river, sometimes going under and swimming to celebrate the Chhath Puja festival.

The 1,376-kilometer Yamuna River is one of the holiest rivers for Hindus, which is also one of the most polluted in the world.

Also read: India’s capital is closing schools for a week because air pollution is becoming more and more dangerous

The river covers more than 50 percent of the water needs of the Indian capital New Delhi and poses a serious health risk for the residents there.

The river has gotten dirtier over the years as most of the capital’s sewage, as well as agricultural pesticides from neighboring states and industrial waste from factory towns, pour into the waterway despite pollution regulations.

Nevertheless, devout Hindus flock down to the river every year during the festival dedicated to worshiping the sun god and washing themselves in the river.

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Rajesh Kumar Verma was among those praying by the Yamuna River on Wednesday.

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He knew the water was dangerous, but he paused in it without worrying about the health hazards it might pose.

“Afraid of what? If we’re afraid, how can we pray?” he said.

The authorities used motor boats to disperse the poisonous foam.

They also built barricades made of bamboo sticks to keep the foam off the river bank.

With more than 20 million inhabitants, New Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world.

Also read: 4 newborns died in a fire in the neonatal unit of the Indian hospital

AP via ABC INDONESIA Some Indian Hindus immerse themselves in the Yamuna River for a holy bath to celebrate the Chhath Puja festival.

Winter in particular has become a time of health problems, when the city is shrouded in a poisonous fog that always makes the sky appear gray.

Air pollution has reached dangerous levels and almost every day the air quality in the city is the worst in the world.

Pollution skyrocketed as farmers in nearby growing areas burned their fields after the harvest in preparation for the next growing season.

On Wednesday, the Air Quality Index in New Delhi was “very bad”, according to SAFAR, India’s premier environmental monitoring agency.

Read also: Again there is a hospital fire in India, 11 patients die

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