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‘Kids of the Ganges’ – The mallah neighborhood of India’s Varanasi | Employees’ Rights

‘Kids of the Ganges’ – The mallah neighborhood of India’s Varanasi | Employees’ Rights


Varanasi, India –Hum paani ke jeev hain. We’re creatures of water,” says 29-year-old Vishwakarma Sahni.

Sahni belongs to Varanasi’s neighborhood of roughly 8,000 mallah, the boatmen whose lives are deeply intertwined with the Ganges – a river thought of sacred in India and which they maintain in profound reverence.

To them, the Ganges is just not merely a river; it’s their lifeline.

A boatman presents prayers earlier than setting out on his boat [Uday Narayanan/Al Jazeera]

On its journey eastward from the Himalayas, the Ganges traverses greater than 2,500 km (1,550 miles) earlier than flowing into the Bay of Bengal within the northeastern Indian Ocean. Alongside its route, it passes by means of a number of areas, together with the traditional metropolis of Varanasi, also called Kashi or Banaras in Hindi. “Banaras” is derived from the phrase “Banarasi” within the Pali language.

Varanasi boatmen
A cruise ship sails previous at dawn. In 2018, the federal government of India launched three personal cruise ships to function alongside the ghats of Varanasi. The boatmen argue that the cruise liners adversely impression their livelihood [Uday Narayanan/Al Jazeera]

Varanasi has lengthy fascinated historians, anthropologists, artists and storytellers and is commonly celebrated as one of many world’s oldest inhabited cities. It additionally occurs to be the constituency of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who rode to energy in 2014 with a promise to rework Varanasi right into a Kyoto-style sensible metropolis, and who’s dealing with elections once more from later this month.Nevertheless, the lives of Varanasi’s boatmen have remained largely neglected, they are saying.

In 2018, regardless of widespread protests from the neighborhood, the Authorities of India granted permits to 3 personal cruise ships to function alongside the ghats of Varanasi – the small staircases which descend to quays and cremation services alongside the river.

#Kids #Ganges #mallah #neighborhood #Indias #Varanasi #Employees #Rights



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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