Hindus have always believed Ganga Jal to be pure, pious and drinkable no matter what. Much reverence is given to Ganga water during Hindu rituals (from birth to death). But is there really any scientific validity to prove it?
In 1896, Ernest Hanbury Hankin (a British bacteriologist) after testing the water from Ganga wrote a paper that was published in French Journal describing that the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae that causes the deadly cholera, when put into the waters of Ganga died within three hours. The same bacteria continued to thrive in distilled water even after 48 hours. He also suggested that the water of this river and its tributary Yamuna were responsible for containing the spread of deadly cholera in the region in those days.
Similarly in 1927, Félix d’Herelle (a French-Canadian microbiologist) was amazed to find no germs at all in water collected just few feet below the floating bodies of people who died of cholera and dysentery. The presence of bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria) in the water of Ganges is considered as the reason behind this quality and its purity.
BUT, Ganga is a spiritually pure, but physically impure river. We need to clean our mess and make it PURE and CLEAN once again!
After all Ganga is not just a spiritual lifeline of Hindus but a LIFELINE for many others who depend on it…