People stand on the banks of river Yamuna near the Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra September 26, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)|
by Hemlata Aithani
NEW DELHI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Aziz, a 40-year-old diver making his living on the river which runs through the Indian capital here, is happy that he can earn several hundred rupees this week by joining in another campaign to clean up the Yamuna, one of the holiest rivers of India.
Hundreds of volunteers and paid laborers with gloves and face masks have been cleaning since Wednesday eight jetties of the Yamuna River here which is literally on its deathbed.
The dirty dark river water emanates foul small and its banks are generally littered with garbage and plastic bags.
"We look for valuable things which we can sell but at the same time we are useful in saving people who drown or try to commit suicide. We have also fished out many dead bodies and handed them over to police. But our services are never acknowledged by anyone, " said Aziz, who now looks as dark as the river water by years of diving and tanning in harsh Delhi sun.
Aziz, like many other divers, grew up in shanties by the river and learnt swimming as a traditional trade.
Originating from the Himalayas, Yamuna is one of the holiest rivers according to the Hindu mythology and runs through 1,370 kilometers.
The river also is the source of life for such wonders as Taj Mahal at Agra in Uttar Pradesh, as it flows down the northern Indian plain and merges with the Ganges, the holiest of all rivers, there.
How India owed its greatness to the river is also shown by the fact that two of its most famous imperial palaces -- Red Fort in Delhi and Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh, lie on the bank of it.India tries to clean up restore past glory of holy river - Cell Phone Data CableIndia tries to clean up restore past glory of holy river - Cell Phone Data CableIndia tries to clean up restore past glory of holy river - Cell Phone Data CableIndia tries to clean up restore past glory of holy river - Cell Phone Data Cable
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