The aim of this project is to bring to light the escalating danger to the river Yamuna. It deals specifically with the three most dangerous threats to the river. The first being the raw sewage that is pumped into Yamuna’s waters everyday, the collective filth of the entire city of Delhi, pours almost unchecked into the river causing immeasurable harm.
The second is the municipal and industrial waste that factories of all kinds dump into Yamuna. The effect of the various chemicals can be seen by the naked eye. During my research I was exposed to innumerable pictures of the sickly, unnatural foam that covers Yamuna looking like nothing less then the symptoms of disease and so inspiring the central plot of my novel. Our progress can be measured by the harm that it has had on this once beautiful river, and we must atone for it. In my mind the only way we can make a real difference is to raise awareness and with novel I hoped to do just that.
The third cause of pollution to the river comes from the people who know her most intimately. The thousands of people who live on Yamuna’s banks, bathe in her, and worship her are also hastening the process of her death. The bodies that are thrown into the river to attain “purity” and the idols that are immersed by the tens of thousands in her waters as a symbol of communicating with the divine are slowly but surely choking the life out the very object of worship. The irony of a people killing their god through the act of worship, and the fact that their goddess, the river Yamuna, can be killed because she is alive in a very real and tangible sense provided the final basis for my novel’s plot.
Faith has tremendous power in our country, and big industry is the medium through which we have achieved such greatness as a people. These powerful forces have been used to destroy something sacred, but I believe that they can be used to make a difference. The power of our ingenuity combined with the power of our faith should be enough to give Yamuna and ourselves a second chance.