The high court in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand gave the Ganges and Yamuna rivers the status of living human entities and argued that this will contribute to the preservation and conservation of the highly polluted rivers. From now on, polluting the rivers will amount to harming a human being. The rivers provide water to half of India’s population, but they had become polluted due to industrialisation and rapid urbanisation. Moreover, two top state officials have been appointed as the legal guardians of the rivers and will represent their rights. Photo credit: Getty Images