Hindus take holy dip in toxic waters

Drone footage showed large crowds of devotees standing in the polluted water in New Delhi, some before dawn, to pray, perform rituals and bathe in the sacred river, while white, thick froth floating on the water surface stretched across a vast area.

The toxic foam, a result of untreated, unmonitored sewage and industrial waste, contains high levels of ammonia and phosphates, which can result in respiratory and skin problems, experts said.

Chhath Puja, a four-day festival, culminated on the sixth day after Hindu festival of lights Diwali and holds significance for married women who observe a fast and stand in waist-deep water to present religious offerings to the Sun God.

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