Pushed by a light morning breeze and a favourable current, I finally weighed anchor this morning at 7.30 and started my navigation of the Ganges – the fifth-most polluted river in the world.
What I noticed on this first day is that the rituals and customs of Hinduism are part of the pollution problem that afflicts the holy river.
Imagine millions of devotees who got to Varanasi (but not only there) to immerse themselves in the Ganges and give the river garlands or flower petals contained in plastic bags!
Yesterday it was Imsong who introduced me to this issue – in fact, for hundreds of years the river has been revered from a religious point of view while being neglected in so many other ways.
Today, in this wonderful country with unlimited resources, if we want to save the Ganges it is necessary to activate a sense of respect and care for this fragile eco-system that goes well beyond rituals.
Tonight my thoughts go out to the Italian climber Daniele Nardi, who is still missing on Naga Parbat in the western Himalayas.