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Ganga Essay

1570 words - 6 pages

LifeStraw® Educator's Guide: Down the River Connection ©2012 The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Although the river water in Luis's neighborhood is highly polluted, he is fortunate to drink from and bathe in filtered, piped water. In cities around the world, particularly in Asia, citizens have no choice but to bathe in and drink from foul rivers, such as the Ganges in India. Have students observe photos of the Ganges River, and discuss how the experience of those living near the Ganges might differ from those living by the Bronx River.
"The Ganga, especially, is the river of India beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and her fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India's age long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever flowing and yet ever the same Ganga." Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, 1889 - 1964
Nearly 70% of all the water available in India is polluted. And much of that water is found in the Ganges river. The Ganges or Ganga is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, flowing east through northern India, Nepal and into Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western
Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India, and drains into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges begins at the Gangotri Glacier in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, in the central Himalayas, a glacier that experts say is shrinking at an alarming rate. As many people live along the Ganges delta as live in all of Europe; it flows through 29 cities (with population over 100,000), 70 towns and thousands of villages. About 400 million people- almost one-third of the country's population- live in the Ganges river basin, and the river provides water for 40 percent of India's population. (http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2012/2012-05-07-02.html).
The Ganges is considered a holy river by the Hindus, and is worshiped as the goddess Ganga. More than 80 percent of Indians are followers of the Hindu religion, and they believe the Ganges has the power to cleanse the soul, so bathing in it is a holy ritual. And many Indians live and work by the river, bathing, drinking, swimming, laundering clothes. Author Santha Rama Rau
©1997 WHO/UNEP ISBN 0 419 22910 8 1 http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resourcesquality/wpccase study1.pdf

LifeStraw® Educator's Guide: Down the River Connection ©2012 The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. All rights reserved.
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states:
"There are beggars, idlers, vendors, touts, the young, the old, the curious, the remote, the talkers, the guides, the priests, the families simply out for a stroll, the ascetics, the crippled, the woman scrubbing out household pots and pans, the toughs, the gently curious ones. All are there along the Ganges" (Rau 244).
Hindus also believe the Ganges is the literal pathway to heaven, the "world of the ancestors." Because of this...

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