What ends up in the river

The Dashama festival in Gujerat is one of India's most colourful festivals but it is also responsible for causing extremely high levels of pollution in one of India's major rivers.

Hindu devotees keep colourful and highly decorated idols in their homes for 10 days, for the festival, before immersing them in the Sabarmati river on the 10th night.

In the aftermath of the festival, the river is choking with offerings as well as rubbish left behind by the devotees.

Some of it, like coconuts and other offerings, are scavenged, as this man (left) is doing on the day after the festival.

Despite numerous regulations put in place over the years and the imposition of harsh penalties, the city is still struggling to deal with the pollution in the Sabarmati River.

The much-lauded Sabarmati riverfront, has attracted floating restaurants, gardens and river rides.

Beyond the promenades and the glitzy riverfront banks, the reality of the Sabarmati River is bleak.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2016, with the headline 'What ends up in the river'. Print Edition | Subscribe