Watch ‘Cry of River’ – Newest documentary on India’s dying holy River Ganges   

Photo: Sanitation workers unclog drains near Bakarmandi, Kanpur. This open drain dumps untreated wastewater into Ganga.

Russian media company RT has released a new documentary “Cry of a River: The Trouble with India’s Toilets and Drinking Water” on March 13, 2017. In the documentary, directed by Natalya Kadyrova, the focus was on India’s holy River Ganga (Ganges). Ganges that used to be a miracle in terms of purity of its water and it medicinal properties, has now become a case study for entire world. The River is dying. The mess is mainly created by rampart corruption in agencies responsible to check industrial and untreated raw sewage discharge into the river. Now, the River has become a perfect documentary material for media houses of developed nations. In this series, ‘Cry of River’ is the newest entrant.  Before we insist you to watch the full 25 minute documentary that is available on YouTube, take a look at the trailer:


Sadly, there is no mention of billions of rupees that Indian government has spent on the name of cleaning Ganga. Even in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Modi has promised people to revive Ganga. Mission Namami Gange is underway in which (hopefully) about 20, 000 crore will be spent. The Prime Minister has promised completion of the objective of the mission by 2022. However, environmentalists are of the opinion that now the Ganga and Yamuna are beyond redemption and their condition is irreversible.

Anyway, as usual, the documentary contains scenes of industrial discharge, dead-bodies being burnt on the banks of the River, and poor slum dwellers talking of their plight. The documentary lacks Indian perspective, but still, it’s another attempt to highlight alarming level of river pollution in India basically due to discharge of untreated raw sewage and variety of hazardous chemical discharges of factories like tanneries.

Water of Ganges used to be unique for its medicinal qualities that it derived from its high-level of oxygen richness and presence of minerals. No River in the world has such high density of oxygen, which was a gift when the River used to be clean. Though, not so professional and detailed, the documentary has brought ahead some fresh visuals and first-hand victims of water-contamination. People have talked about lack of toilets and how women wait till it gets dark to relieve themselves. There are slum dwellers talking about diseases they caught due to contaminated water. Activists are clearly blaming corruption and intentional negligence from authorities despite having all circumstance in their knowledge.

If you have any sort of interest in environmental protection or river pollution, then do watch the full documentary. The beginning might appear a bit slow with usual starting with lack of toilets, but later it moves litter faster. As a matter of fact, open defecation isn’t a big deal for people owing to their social conditioning and lack of resources. Still, it’s a worth your 25 minutes as a reminder of India’s environmental crises.

Full Documentary

Photo: Youth Ki Awaz

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