Filth and Faith: Foam-Filled Plight of Yamuna River in Pictures

Yamuna River falls victim to a harmful and thick layer of white foam every year in Delhi. People around the river, which is considered a holy entity in the country, dump various industrial and religious waste into it. This leads to the accumulation of toxic foam-filled layers on the surface of the Yamuna River annually, especially around the winters.

The Yamuna originates from Yamunotri Glacier, happens to be the second-largest and India’s longest tributary of Ganga River. Waste material from chemical factories, tanneries and ceremonial processions creates a layer of froth on the surface of the river that continues to foul the waters for months.

Surprisingly, despite being highly polluted and hazardous to health, the river is still one of the main bathing sites for the devotees of Chhath Puja. People continue to worship the sun god while standing in contaminated waters of the Yamuna near Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj each year without fail.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Nearly 70 percent of Delhi’s water supply depends on Yamuna’s water. Unfortunately, such ceremonial rituals and chemical waste add to the pollution levels and create an absolutely ugly reality for Yamuna River.

This begs the question – what is this white foam and why does it form? If you are looking for answers to these questions then read on. Here are some shocking images from the Chhath Puja celebrations in the contaminated foam-filled Yamuna River that explain the reasons behind its frothy appearance.

Foam-Filled Yamuna River – Components of phosphate and surfactants are responsible for the formation of froth in the river, which are hazardous for health and can cause skin irritation.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times

Germ-infesting shore – Once a Holy River, this contaminated river now is frothed and can cause gastrointestinal complications and diseases like typhoid.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

The dumping ground – Despite being worshiped, Yamuna now is not less than a dumping bin for people living in its periphery.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Haziq Qadri/Barcroft Media

Rowing in dirt-fizz – Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha claims that flinging waste from height at the Okhla barrage causes the annual foam formation.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Celebration or obliteration? – Waste from religious festivals has now become one of the main reasons contributing to water pollution in Indian rivers.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times

Chhath Puja – Chhath Puja is a Hindu festival devoted to the sun god. It is celebrated to show gratitude for bestowing life on earth but the very festivities are also responsible for polluting the same life.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Toxic bathing bubbles – The devotees practice various rituals including holy bathing, fasting, and standing in water for a long time waiting for the sun to emerge from the smog-filled sky. But these rituals in polluted waters can lead to many diseases.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Insanitary measures – People not only dive in this filthy water but also tend to collect it for drinking purposes.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Oneindia

Drinking source? – Yamuna is the main source of water in Delhi, contrarily it is one of the most polluted rivers in the country and in the world.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Manish Swarup/AP

Unheard prayers – Even the almighty doesn’t seem to reciprocate to the prayers made in a toxin-filled environment.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Kamal Kishore/PTI

Snowing waste – This snow-like stinky foam in Yamuna is full of industrial waste, where people tend to throw all health concerns in the air and play in this waste.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Abhinav Saha/The Indian Express

Futile efforts – Efforts made by authorities to clean the river get neutralized after the deposition of industrial and commercial wastes.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Ecologically dead – Yamuna River is considered “ecologically dead” by experts as no life thrives in its contaminated waters.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Manish Swarup/AP

Warning! – Delhi’s Yamuna is highly contaminated! Therefore, the river needs your help for its intoxication. Alas, the warnings have no impact on the ignorant.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: The Indian Express

The river is seeking for salvation from the tormenting water and industrial pollution, which is nowhere in sight for the foreseeable future.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Gone case – Once alive and fresh, Yamuna has been killed long ago in Delhi. It’s not just the waste from religious or festival rituals that pollutes the river; most of the waste comes from industrial setups across the river banks.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Awaited blessings – Devotees present offerings to the sun god to receive blessings, but they are only getting diseases in return for standing in the contaminated waters for prolonged periods of time.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: PTI

Celebrations in the Night – Worshipers gather at the edge of the river just before dawn for the Chhath rites.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Negligence at its best! – People seem to enjoy this toxic foam despite knowing its health hazards.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

COVID alert! – Experts believe the noxious water can also spread COVID-19, in mass celebrations like Chhath.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

Polluters- People are the biggest polluters, not only do they ignore the cleanliness quotient of the river but are also the reason behind its filth.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

Lethal blanket – The river is completely covered in toxic foam created by industrial waste and sewage.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Saumya Khandelwal

STOP! – This beyond redemption foamed river has been exploited for a long time and it is high time that we bring it back to life and its ancient glory.

Pictures Explaining Reasons Behind Yamuna’s Foam-Filled Plight

Image: Altaf Qadri/AP

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