Devotees of the Hindu goddess Dashama have reached the climax of their festival celebrating the deity revered as the Destroyer of Adversity. The faithful have worshipped idols of the goddess in their homes for 10 days. On the tenth night, the Dashama figurines are ritually submerged in the Sabarmati River as it flows through the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
Officials this year, concerned about pollution from idol byproducts, dictated that the statues be deposited in a dry well rather than in the river. The goddess Dashama has traditionally been a favorite of India’s lower castes. If anyone needs a Destroyer of Adversity, it is these untouchables, especially now that their prayers will be thrown down a well rather than floated upon the stream.