The Ganges River

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The Ganges River: See, Judge, Act Using the Catholic Social Teaching Method

See the Ganges River: The Ganges River is approximately 1,560 miles long and is located in in India and Bangladesh. Much of the water comes from China, Tibet and Myanmar. The river is located in a large plain which includes a lot of fertile farming area..

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It is important to the hundreds of millions of people who live along its’ banks as a water source and for transportation, power, and food. Over four hundred million people use the river as a source for water, cooking and bathing. The river is used as a source of water for irrigation systems for their crops. It also provides water for drinking and bathing. The river supports a great number of fish species which serve as a food source for the growing population. Since the river is not too deep, it is used for transportation and moving goods with the use of flat bottom boats, small sail boats and steamer ships. It is like a highway of water for trade and people.

Both India and Nepal draw hydroelectric power from the river and its’ tributaries. These power plants have also contributed to negative environmental impacts on animals, plants and have even forced some people to relocate. It flows from the Himalayas at about thirty miles in altitude into the Bay of Bengal. The river also flows through Bangladesh a large populated city. While the region used to be rich in forest and wildlife, it is now mostly agricultural farm land which supports the people who live along the river.
Over the years, the population in the river basin has been diverse, including different ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. However, the Hindu faith has considered the river central to their faith and religious practice for centuries. It is probably one of the most revered rivers by any religion in the world.

Cattle are often given free use of the river and since they are also considered a religious symbol, they are protected and allowed to roam free including eating garbage from the river. Ganges or Ganga in Hindi is important to the Hindu religion. Hindus believe the river personifies the goddess Ganga and when you bathe in the river,

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