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Posted Sun Jan 24 2010: from Agence France-Presse:
Indians keep faith with Ganges despite pollution
For India's devout Hindus, the sacred River Ganges is always clean and always pure -- even if its waters are a toxic stew of human sewage, discarded garbage and factory waste. The belief that the Ganges washes away sin entices millions of Hindus into the river each year, and huge crowds of pilgrims are currently passing through the town of Haridwar for the three-month Kumbh Mela bathing festival. But concern over pollution along the length of the 2,500 kilometre (1,500 mile) river is growing, and the city of Kanpur -- 800 kilometres downstream of Haridwar -- is the site of one of the worst stretches of all... Worshippers like Ram Sharma, who regularly wades in the water for an early morning bath with only a cloth tied around his waist, are proof that for many Indians faith outweighs science. "How can you call this water dirty?" asked Sharma incredulously. "For us it is holy water," he said as he dipped his cupped hands in the river and took a slurp.
[Read more stories about: contamination, ecosystem interrelationships, toxic water, heavy metals]

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Just like me in Indiana, breathing its sacred, coal-plant polluted air... every day.

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