Water in India is probably the most precious commodity. Agrarian India is home to 18% of the world’s population but has only 4% of the global water resources. The most important river for the country is the Ganges River – both spiritually and economically. The 2,525 km Ganges flows through India and Bangladesh. Thus, the Ganges is more than twice as long as the Rhine. The length of the Ganges River is approximately equal to the flight distance between Stockholm and Athens or London-Moscow.
But the Ganges River has an immense significance for Indians. The river is a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. Situated along the Ganges River, the northern city of Kanpur has become the country’s largest producer of leather, 95% of which is exported to western markets.
Because of the lack of regulation and to keep costs as low as possible, 50 million litres (!) of highly toxic waste gushes into Kanpur from the tanneries every day! And this chemical-riddled water then goes on to pollute farmlands and spread diseases.