Ganga / Ganges is considered as the most sacred river of the Hindu Mythology.
According to the Puranas (Holy Scriptures of Hindus), the sight, the name and the touch of Ganga takes away all sins. As per Hinduism, bathing in the river on special occasions causes remission of sins and facilitates the attainment of salvation. It is considered that Ganga bestows blessings of the highest order. People come from far and near to immerse the ashes of their kin in the waters of Ganga, with a belief that the the dead souls will atttain salvation.
But you can see the effect of these traditions on the water of the holiest river in the world.
The boy in white is holding offerings for the Ganga. One can find a number of boatmen to take you for a boat ride on the river or to immerse the ashes in the middle of the river. But most people were doing it on the shore. The stench was unbearable as sometimes people dump dead bodies too in the river.