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Where the Ganges Meets the Sea, a Journey Ends

Our journey down the Ganges ends on Sagar Island, where the river meets the sea. Once a year, millions of Hindus come here to worship Mother Ganga and to toss coins into her waters.

For this five-part series, we have traveled the length of the river — more than 1,500 miles — to describe the physical and spiritual sustenance it provides to hundreds of millions of people, and to find out what those people think about the way India is changing.

One especially worrisome change is a dramatic and widening income gap between rural India and areas where the economy is thriving.

Asura Bibi, a 40-year-old woman searching for coins in the sands of Sagar Island, knows this imbalance all too well. She depends on the loose change she finds here to feed her three children.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.