To millions of Hindus, not only is the Ganges (or Ma Ganga, "Mother Ganga") India's largest river, but it also represents a spiritual centre.
The waters of the Ganges are visited every year by thousands of pilgrims, who reach the river in Varanasi and search for purification by bathing in the holy waters in order to be granted heavenly blessings.
Sadly, the Ganges is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world, which results in devastating consequences for the population, in terms of health costs.
The holy waters have become a major threat for the believers. Thus, they became a threat for politicians as well.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has pledged for a plan to clean the river and build new treatment facilities; however, the project has fallen behind of its schedule.
The Major of Varanasi city promised to transform the city into a Kyoto-like “smart city" within a couple of year.
Yet experts are skeptical and say there has been no sign of any holy- or human-inspired change.
Nevertheless, something needs to be done for the holy waters to provide hope for a new and clean future.