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Lifeguards: The Unsung Heroes of Ganpati Visarjan | 101 Heartland

The people who make sure you're safe when you immerse your idol in the sea.

Every year, at Ganesh Chaturthi, thousands of devotees flock to the shore for visarjan, the immersion of Ganpati idols into the sea. The festival is celebrated with much fanfare and pomp, but one crucial part of the arrangements is often overlooked: the hardworking lifeguards. Theirs is the most difficult job on the day: taking the idols out to sea and safely immersing them, while making sure no one drowns in the water.

Outside the metros and beyond the urban jungle live the sons and daughters of India’s heartland. This series tells their stories. 101 Heartland celebrates both unique communities and individual tales of hope, struggle, and reform. From the village of bouncers just outside Delhi to the fascinating story of Ram Kumar Tyagi, once a wanted man but now a coach for aspiring female wrestlers, 101 Heartland tells stories for the heart, from the heartland.