Notes from the Field: Kanpur, India

How one Acumen Fellow is cleaning up the Ganges and bringing dignity to an ignored community

Kanpur, India, about a five hour train ride from Delhi. I am visiting with Acumen Fellow Ankit Agarwal and his co-founder Karan Rastogi, who saw a problem here in India. Across the country, people bring flowers to temples on a daily basis — gifts for the gods, blessings for life, for celebrations — to the tune of more than 800 million metric tons per year. These flowers are thrown into the Ganges and India’s other sacred rivers, a beautiful religious ritual that is having an unfortunate effect. Because as the flowers rot, they fill the rivers with waste, dumping toxins like arsenic, lead and cadmium from pesticides, thus causing pollution and enormous levels of water-borne diseases.

Founder and CEO of @Acumen. Dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty. Learn more: www.acumen.org

Founder and CEO of @Acumen. Dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty. Learn more: www.acumen.org