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In the shadow of the #Taj #Mahal…

In the shadow of the #Taj #Mahal...

In the shadow of the #Taj #Mahal – but worlds away from the tourist destinations – a group of people known as #Dhobis toil from sunrise to sunset on the banks of the #Yamuna River. #Dhobi is the traditional #caste of the clothes washers. Here at #Dhobighat at sunset, @pedromcbride @davidcmorton and I found dozens of Dhobis working – men, women, and children – scrubbing clothes on stones, beating and rinsing saris and linens, tending massive vats of coal-fire heated water bubbling in a toxic stew of caustic soda and the fetid water of the Yamuna. Like the #Ganges which we were following, the Yamuna – a major tributary – was incredibly polluted. At Dhobighat, we found #cadmium levels of 24.7 μg/l – 5 times the safe limit. Other studies have found dangerous levels of #lead, #chromium, #arsenic, and more. Additionally, our tests at Agra showed no dissolved oxygen – meaning the river here is effectively dead. And yet, for the Dhobis and many more, life continues on the Yamuna, for there is no other choice. In its murky waters, hot, black, and pungent, children continue to play, workers wash clothes, bathe buffalo and themselves, drink, defecate, fish, and simply live. As with the tragic and senseless situation in #Flint, one can only imagine the long term implications for these communities. #water #pollution #indiaphotos #india_gram #indiagram #everydayasia #liveyouradventure #GangaS2S

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

View this photo in Jake Norton & MountainWorld’s Instagram ⇒

About the Author : Jake NortonClimber, guide, photographer, speaker, founder of www.Challenge21.com, and - most importantly - husband and father.View all posts by Jake Norton

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