In India’s capital city of New Delhi, people still earn a living by diving in the river Yamuna to collect coins.
Numbered around 30, they earn their livelihood by collecting coins that are thrown into the water by devotees as an offering to the deity of the river.
During diving sessions, that usually last 20-30 minutes, they end up collecting brass, copper, and even silver and gold if they are lucky.
The coin divers are so skilled at fishing things out of the river that their services are sometimes employed for other purposes.
Rescuing dead bodies
Occasionally, policemen take their help in fishing out dead bodies that have been dumped into the river. Nasir has been a coin diver for 19 years.
“On average, I make around Rs 150-200 a day. In a good month, I end up collecting Rs 6000-7000. That is my livelihood,” he says.
Another coin diver named Govind has been diving in river Yamuna for 40 years.
“I have seen small kids growing in front of me here around the river. They are also into diving. Ours is a group of 25 people. Diving is our full-time profession,” he says.
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