A river supplies us with drinking water. The water works of the municipalities generally get their supply of water from rivers. We use this water for many purposes in our houses, industries and fields.
A river helps in our trade and commerce. Big ports grow on their banks. Formerly, there were no railways. Roads also were very few. Almost all inland trade was carried on by means of boats.
Merchants carried their goods in boats from one place to another. Even now boats and steamers carry jute, food grains, cotton and many other things from one place to another.
Some rivers help us in another way. They have strong currents when they flow down from a high place. These are used by men in turning the wheels of mills or generating electricity.
Our government has established many multipurpose projects to generate electricity and get water for irrigation through canals. Here electricity is generated at a very cheap cost by using the water power of these rivers.
A river can sometimes do us a great harm. During the rainy season, it can wash away the banks and flood an area. Many people are thereby rendered homeless and helpless. Many men and cattle die and crops are destroyed.