About My Project...

As a kid every time I would cross a river in India, be it the Ganga or the Yamuna or any of their tributaries, I would have a feeling that the water levels of these rivers were receding... my heart would sink seeing the industrial pollutants making their way into these rivers...

On the contrary the feeling I would get seeing these rivers close to their origins… especially the Ganga in Rishikesh is indescribable… no pollution, no signs of water level depletion … so calm and so serene… the scent of freshness in the air…

I am documenting the life around river Ganga… the life as Ganga sees and feels it... the culture the river has supported for thousands of years, the people it has sustained over the centuries, and also the human interference it has suffered over the last one century or so...

Towards that I am following the river from its origins high up in the Himalayas all the way to where it merges with the Indian Ocean. All the while I am meeting with people who have been close to the river to narrate their feelings about the river, what they feel about the part Ganga has played in the Indian civilization and culture, what we human beings have done or could do or have not done to save this mighty river…

My final aim is to narrate the whole documentary as a multimedia and a book. I invite anyone and everyone to please help me with suggestions... critique... and hospitality. I would love to hear your suggestions and incorporate them into my project.

Note: The contents of this blog including the pictures are copyrighted and may not be copied or downloaded without prior permission of Rahul Rathi.
Disclaimer: This is a personal project of Rahul Rathi. He is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents here in and may not be sited as a reference without confirming the accuracy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Further Plans... Maha Kumbh and back to science!!

I will be heading back to the waters of the Ganga in April 2010. This time I plan to cover the Maha Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, travel all the way up to Gaumukh (the glacier where Bhaigirathi the main source river of the Ganga originates) and then head back down along the Ganga to cities of Narora, Farukkhabad, Allahbad (Prayag) and Banaras. By the end of this trip I will have covered a little over half of my journey along the Ganga...

Considering my science background, my father, Dr YPS Rathi, a retired virologist, suggested me to test the quality of the Ganga waters at various places. So, I will be detecting the presence of the virus - Bacteriophage in the waters of the Ganga collected at various places during my journey. Talks are on to get some more scientists along who can help us measure other parameters to determine the quality of Ganga waters which would include Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Fecal Coliform Bacteria, pH of the water, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Oil and Grease, Heavy Metals etc.


  1. Dear Rahul
    Only yesterday I was listening to the song " bhor bhaye panghat pe , mohe natkhat shyam sataye " and my husband commented , look what we have done to the world , no panghats left ,and very soon , no rivers will be there!
    Your blog is extremely enlightening.
    Hope it makes some difference,

  2. dear dr rathi sir
    very nice effort. it is the need of hour. indian government pays more attention to any problem raised by foreigner/NRIs' because our policy makers/authorities mostly visit foreign to take help in maintaining image of himself. as was the case of poverty issue raised by film Slum Dog Millionaire. However, regarding Ganga, we all are responsible. we must be lawabiding person. but here everybody disobeying law is honuored by society and authorities because they are either MLA/MP or industrialists. Your work will be highly appreciated by government but Ganga need sacrifice of life to make it pure. AKHARA SADHUS have started UNIFIED ANDOLAN/MOVEMENT against anytype dam on ganga. BEST OF LUCK FOr your effort. I am ready to help of anykind regarding this project.
    dr rakesh k shukla
    BVSc, MVSc Pantnagar
    Id 22440
    Veterinary Officer, Gorakhpur U.P.