In this third and final episode, airing on Thursday 2 November at 9.00pm on BBC-2, Sue’s first stop is the Ancient city of Patna, capital of Bihar state. Once the centre of the British Empire’s lucrative opium trade, these days Patna produces something far more intoxicating – education.
Sue visits the Women’s Industrial Training College, a girls-only college teaching young women to be engineers. She hangs out with some of the students, and they tell her of their dreams to build bridges and drive trains all over the world. But, although free to choose careers, their parents will still choose their husbands. It appears the new India only goes so far.
Next, Sue visits the great city of Kolkata, having previously visited a couple of years before. One of the highlights from Sue’s last trip was meeting some of the street kids of Kolkata and one in particular that stayed with her was nine year-old Rakhi. Sue catches up with her to see how her life has changed since they last met.
Sue travels south to where the Ganges meets the sea and heads out with the forest department’s tiger patrol, to see what it takes to protect one of the world’s most endangered cats: the Royal Bengal Tiger. On Bali Island, Sue learns that there are more tiger attacks here than anywhere else in India.
Sue’s final destination is Saga Island, in the mouth of the river. Sue is here from dusk till dawn on the biggest night of the week where two million people are expected to bathe in the Ganges as the sun comes up. Sue meets Naga Babas, naked holy men, along with pilgrims that have travelled from all corners of India to be here on this auspicious day.
Swept along in a tide of humanity, Sue heads towards the beach and the sea. Under a rising sun on a brand new day Sue shares with two million people an extraordinary communion with an immortal Goddess and a sacred, filthy, amazing river.
Sue is pictured with girls from Patnas Industrial Training College
The Ganges With Sue Perkins Episode 3 (of 3) airs Thursday 2 November 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC One.