Two and a half years ago or so I took a trip through India. I found it to be one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever taken. Like so many who make a trip to this massive subcontinent, I wish I could have stayed for a year or more. There was so much to see and do. One of the most fascinating places I visited was the city of Varanasi, said to be the oldest living city on earth. it is hard to describe Varanasi. The city is old, but it is also very much live, very dirty, but also beautiful. It sits on the Ganges and is the place where thousands of Indians come every week, literally, to die.
I did a video on my experience in Varanasi that ran on Al Gore’s Current TV. The Ganges is the lifeline of the country, it’s spiritual spinal cord. But it is also a filthy, highly polluted body of water. I came across this article just now while browsing around that reveals just how dirty it is. And things for the most part are not getting better. Scientists, in fact, say that sewage and pollution have devastated the 1,550-mile river, which spills from a Himalayan glacier and cuts through India’s plains before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. There are places near Varanasi with a fecal bacteria count nearly 4,000 times the World Health Organization standard for bathing.
I like to see that people are calling attention to the state of the Ganges, because the Indians are in need of help turning things around.