Kumbh pilgrims pay homage to Ganga on Republic Day
Allahabad: More than 1,000 people from across India and around the world will march here to celebrate India's Republic Day on the banks of the Ganga at the Kumbh Mela on Saturday.
This is part of an environmental parade seeking independence from pollution and to pay homage to war heroes.
The march will be led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, founder of Ganga Action Parivar.
Said Swami Saraswati: "We are gathering to send a strong message that together we can clean up the Ganga, just as (the holy river) cleanses us.
"Today, we celebrate our freedom of sovereignty, but we are not truly free until our country is liberated of pollution.
"We must strive for the freedom to live in a country blessed with clean air, water and land. Ganga's rights are our rights!"
Every day, nearly three billion litres of sewage and chemical waste are poured into the Ganga, experts say.
This dumping, combined with the obstruction and diversion of its water, has resulted in water shortages, toxic drinking water and the virtual disappearance of segments of the river.