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India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs and past millions of devotees.

印度神圣的恒河始于高高的喜马拉雅冰川,是一条清澈透明的河流。但是穿过快速发展的城市、工业中心和无数的信徒居住区让它的水变成了有毒的污水。

Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million, "Mother Ganga" is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it.

尽管几十年来政府在努力拯救它,这条被10亿印度教徒崇拜、作为4亿人水源的河正在死去。

Lokesh Sharma, a 19-year-old priest in Devprayag, a small hill town where two rivers converge to form the Ganges, is his family's fourth generation to lead riverbank prayers.

Devprayag是一座小城,有两条河流相会形成恒河,19岁的神职人员Sharma住在这里,他是家族的第四代主持河边祷告的人。

"I never thought of going somewhere else and settling. Devprayag is a heaven for me. I feel blessed to be born next to Mother Ganges," Sharma said, as chanting priests and devotees, some bottling the water, dunk themselves in the fast-flowing river.

Sharma对着神职人员和信徒们吟颂道:“我从未想过去别的地方安家。Devprayag对我来说是天堂。我感觉是上天保佑让我生在母亲恒河边”,在他吟颂时,有的人在装水,有的人把自已浸在快速流动的河中。



At one stretch, the river turns red.

在有一条支流处,河水变成了红色。

Nearby, tannery workers haul chemical-soaked buffalo hides into huge drums. The filthy run-off is dumped in the river.

附近的制革厂工人拖着化学浸泡过的水牛皮进入巨大的鼓厂。泡过的脏水被倒河中。

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pledged to build more treatment plants and move more than 400 tanneries away from the river, but his $3 billion clean-up plan is badly behind schedule.

莫迪总理政府承诺要建更多的水处理厂并要从河边搬离400多家制革厂,但是他的30亿美元清洁计划已经拖了很久了。

Less than a quarter of an estimated 4,800 million liters of sewage that flow daily into the river from main towns and cities is treated.

每天从主要城镇流入河里的污水约48亿升,经过处理污水的不到四分之一。

POLLUTION-FREE PRAYERS
The sorry state of the Ganges is most keenly felt in Varanasi, the ancient and most holy of cities for Hindus.

在Varanasi你很容易感受到恒河悲惨境地,这是一座古老的成市,是印度教徒最神圣的城市。

Religious students practise yoga, pilgrims seek spiritual purification and families cremate their dead by the water's edge, scattering ashes so that souls go to heaven and escape the cycle of rebirth.

宗教学生练习瑜伽,朝圣者寻求心灵净化,家人在河边火化他们死去的亲人,抛撒骨灰好让灵魂进入天堂免受轮回之苦。

Along the bathing ghats, prayers invoking followers to keep the Ganges clean fill the hot evening air.

沿着施行浸礼的石梯,祈祷者指引追随者让恒河保持干净,炎热的傍晚的空气中充满了这种氛围。

"I remember earlier the water was very clean and we could drink it," said 58-year-old boatman Anil Sahni. "Now you can't even bathe in it."

58岁的船夫Anil说:“我记得早年这里的河水很干净,可以喝,现在洗澡都不行了”



"The Ganges is our mother. There won't be any future if she dies."

“恒河是我们的母亲。如果她死了我们就没有未来了”

Click here for a photo essay http://reut.rs/2tYBlCR that depicts the pollution that has affected the holy Ganges river.

http://reut.rs/2tYBlCR 点击这里看图册,讲述了污染对神圣恒河的影响。