The Kumbh Mela festival is the largest Hindu pilgrimage of the year, where millions of Hindus travel from around the world (primarily from around India) in order to bathe in the sacred Ganges River. This years festival drew an estimated 80 Million followers to the river, but with no true means to count the pilgrims, this number may be inflated.
One of the festivals traditions is to toss valuables into the river, a sort of homage to the Gods. This tradition is seen by the wealthy as a means of appeasement, while the poor view this as a great opportunity.
The photos below illustrate the plight of India’s poor, as they rummage through filth in search of riches tossed aside by the wealthier classes. These unfortunate souls are looking for anything of value, but hoping for maybe a gold ring or some other golden trinket. A lucky forager may feed their entire family for a year by finding a nice ring, or other valuable, and so hundreds of poor sort through waste in hopes of treasure.