The Dirty Picture: 8 Images Of The Dark Life Behind Jharia’s Sacrifice For ‘Development’

Posted on November 13, 2014 in PhotoNama, Society, Staff Picks

By Shibayan Raha:

Case: Jharia
Name: Jharia Coal Fields
Alternate Names: The Living Pyre, Hell on Earth
Location: Dhanbad District, Jharkhand, India
Population: 81,979 (2001 Census)
Future: Unknown

Jharia is not only one of the largest coal mines in India, but also one of the largest in Asia. What once was a dense forest populated by tribes, Jharia, famous for its rich coal resources, was sacrificed at the altar of development. Uncontrollable fires have been raging havoc and spewing dirty smoke for the last 98 years.

Reports indicate that as many as 70 fires are burning in Jharia coalfield.

Photo Credits: Anupma Prakesh
Girls playing in smoke filled atmosphere in New Colony Village.
Smoke rising from an underground coal fire near an open cast mine in the village of Bokapahari.
Young boys in Jharia- Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac
Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac
A woman places a basket of coal on her daughters’ head- Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac

Reports indicate that over 2300 families have been relocated

Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac

Many promises like schools, hospitals and free utilities remain undelivered

Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images AsiaPac

“How can any project that leads to further impoverishment of the communities…be called development?” — Stalin K, human rights activist.

Note: This article was originally published here.