Picture of the Day - April 26

Varanasi on an overcast day.  The Kewat people live all along the river Ganges plying their boats. They claim heritage from an original ferryman who took Ram, his brother and Ram's wife Sita across the Ganges river--an occurrence in the epic story titled "Ramayana."  They used to make a good living fishing--especially during spawning season when sea fish swim up the Ganges entering from the Bay of Bengal.  Unfortunately, modern days have not been good to the Kewat people as the ever increasing pollution as well as the damning of the Ganges have destroyed the fish industry--their main source of income.  In Varanasi, the Kewat people live right next to the ghats in small and cramped housing.  They do well financially during the tourist season (October-March).  If you happen to be in Varanasi and want to take a boat ride, know that they will bargain hard as those rupees might be their only income for the day.  Kewat people are hardened by life's troubles, but they are sweet on in the inside and are hard workers.

Click here to read a short introduction to the Kewat people.

Click here to read the short story involving the ferryman Kewat who took Ram, Sita and Ram's brother Lakshman across the Ganges.