Indian salt pan workers of the Agariya community in Gujarat work in the remote and arid Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) region for nearly eight months of the year during the salt farming season. India is ranked third in gross amount of salt produced in the world, behind China and the United States, and the western state of Gujarat accounts for 77 percent of India’s production.
Organizations and activists used World Water Day, designated by the United Nations as March 22 in 1993, to draw attention to and to work to reduce global and local water challenges. The UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF, released research saying that population growth and climate change will help lead to water scarcity for one in four children by 2040.
The Chhath Puja Festival is one of the most important festivals in the northern Indian states, and sees people worshiping the Sun god on the banks of rivers or small ponds, and praying for the longevity and health of their spouse. During Chhath, an ancient Hindu festival, rituals are performed to thank the Sun God for sustaining life on earth.
Indian flower vendors showcase lotus flowers to attract puja organisers for Durga Puja. The five-day festival, which commemorates the slaying of the demon king Mahishasur by the goddess Durga and marks the triumph of good over evil, begins on October 7.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the “naked aggression of Indian forces” on September 29 after two Pakistani soldiers were killed in clashes in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Authorities ordered the demolition of around 300 houses in three villages to evict people living on the periphery of the rhino sanctuary to stop rampant poaching of the rare animal, a top police official said. Two people were killed and several others were injured Monday when villagers clashed with police while protesting the demolition of their homes.
Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, from Sunday to Thursday to mark the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim — Abraham to Christians and Jews — to sacrifice his son. During the holiday Muslims slaughter sheep and cattle and distribute part of the meat to the poor.
Indian participants await the dahi handi (curd pot) celebrations of “Janmashtami”, which mark the birth of Lord Krishna. India’s top court on August 17 banned children from taking part in a popular but potentially dangerous religious festival in the country’s west that sees young boys scale human pyramids. The Supreme Court barred children aged under 18 from scaling the pyramids and restricted their height to 20 feet following a string of accidents in recent years.
Annual monsoon rains have progressed to parts of western and central India, easing fears of millions of desperate farmers after two straight years of drought, the weather department said. Farmers rely on the monsoon rains, which hit the Kerala coast every year and then sweep across the country, to water their crops and replenish dams and reservoirs. The arrival of the monsoon is always keenly watched in India, but even more so this year as much of the country reels from the drought. However, dozens of people have been struck by lightning and killed during the rains, disaster management officials said.