One flows from the Himalayas through four countries and can wash away sin. The other flows from the Pennines through West Yorkshire and was once an open sewer for Leeds. But the river Aire could soon become Britain's answer to the Ganges.
Bradford Council has been asked to allow a stretch of the Aire to be used for scattering ashes, saving Yorkshire's Hindus and Sikhs an expensive journey to dispose of relatives' remains. The council has identified a spot where mourners could stand, with fast-flowing water to take away their garlands, at Apperley Bridge,close to Bradford City's training ground. The Environment Agency has yet to decide whether the river can be used to dispose of ashes, but Bradford's Hindu Cultural Society is already drawing up plans for a small shrine.
Dr Morani Ghupta, the chairman of the World Council of Hindus in Yorkshire, said a leap of faith was all that was needed to see the Aire as the Ganges. "The most important thing in the Hindu faith is where your mind is, you are there."
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