Saturday, Oct 08, 2022
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OPINION | 'The Current Of Destruction Is Strong, Even The Ganga Has Not Been Spared For Political Gains'

Siddharth Agarwal, who walks along rivers across India, feels the common man is being left in the lurch as urban desires will not solve the core issues confronting the rivers of India

Ravaged Rivers Photograph by Siddharth Agarwal

The summer sun in Bundelkhand is unrelenting, especially if you’re making your way across the prickly dry landscape on foot. At the outskirts of a village on the banks of the Ken, my companion and I stopped at a mud house on a large mound, ­exhausted and hoping to find some food and shelter. Our ­request for water confused the host. Did we want to drink at the home of a lower-caste person? We had a few gulps of river water she had stored and proceeded to the village.

At the anganwadi centre, we sat on threaded cots under the shade of a magnificent neem tree. Bands of men were smoking and playing cards on the patio, but there were no children or anganwadi workers in sight. A young boy volunteered to take responsibility for our food and pooled items from many houses to assemble a sumptuous meal. Amongst offers for more rotis and tobacco, a discussion ensued.

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