15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
A scavenger in the Ganges

A scavenger dives into the river for coins and pieces of molten gold and silver at Manikarnika ghat in Varanasi, India. More than 80,000 people take a dip in the Ganges everyday in Varanasi. Unregulated disposal of more than 3000 human cadavers and 6000 animal carcasses into the Ganges every year pose a serious health risk to the people dependent on it. Officials admit that the water quality of the river is most unfit for bathing purposes. Nearly 18,000 tonnes of wood is used for cremation on the ghats in Varanasi, generating 700 tonnes of coal and ash every year, which finds its way into the river.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2016
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Varanasi, India
Camera: NIKON D800
Copyright: © Harikrishna Katragadda