A man rides a motorbike past puddles of polluted water, originating from nearby tanneries. Toxic waste water is discharged into channels that run the length of the streets in Kanpur. As there is little to no refuse collection, the channels often get blocked and water overflows into the streets, exposing residents to highly toxic chemicals. It’s my last day here in Kanpur and its been a sobering week. Please stay tuned for my photo-essay and multimedia from here…coming soon. Dec, 2013.
A tannery worker stands amongst waste water recently discharged from a vat that dyes leather. Hides from various animals are treated in a mixture of chemicals and dyes and are loaded and unloaded by hand. Workers often have no protection. The city only has the capacity to treat 20% of this waste. The rest flows into nearby farmland and the River Ganges. Dec, 2013.
Sonelal Yadav, a member of a farmer’s comity in Kanpur, looks out onto a pipe which is discharging waste water from nearby leather tanneries. This water is channelled onto local farmland and ultimately into the Ganges River. The water is laced with a myriad of dangerous industrial chemicals which are harming the environment and people’s health. I’m in Kanpur this week, documenting the crisis that is unfolding here. http://gallagher-photo.com/project-live-india
One of the saddest sights I have seen during my brief time in India is the presence of many child workers. In this picture, a young boy works in a brick factory on the outskirts of Kolkata. Speaking to workers, they told me they work more than 12 hours each day making bricks, earning around 250 India Rupees per day, approx. US$4 Children are especially vulnerable to the health hazards of working in industries such as this. As the nation’s economy continues to expand and industries develop, will the practice of child labour continue in India? Nov, 2013.
On any given day in India, millions of people make their way to the banks of the country’s holiest river, The Ganges. In Kolkata, people descend the banks at sunrise and sunset to the Hooghly, one of the last arms of the Ganges. The level of pollution in the Ganges has risen dramatically in recent decades as the river is used as a dumping ground for domestic and industrial waste. As the last city on the Ganges before it empties into the Bay of Bengal, Kolkata feels the full force of this accumulation of waste. Nov, 2013.
Toxic Sunset - A canal outside of Kolkata is covered by a white foam, created when polluted water is churned up and passed through a nearby sluice gate. Chemicals in the water are produced by nearby tanneries and have rendered the river black and lifeless. Even the golden sunset cannot hide the problems of Kolkata’s waterways.
Do you ever stop and think where your used electronics end up after you’ve finished with them? Chances are they have made their way to countries in Africa or Asia for breaking down and recycling. In a small village south of Kolkata, a teenage boy breaks down circuit boards into their constituent parts. This informal industry exposes workers to many hazardous chemicals and metals and is a growing problem in developing countries as they receive more electronic goods from home and abroad.
Sumah, 15, works in a small electrical repair shop in central Kolkata. This particular area of the city is known for its informal sector of recyclers who work on a myriad of electrical appliances, often breaking equipment down to its raw components for reselling, repair or reuse.
A trash collector stands in the Dhapa landfill, in eastern Kolkata. This is the destination for much if the city’s solid waste and is sifted through by a small army of workers who look for recyclable material that they can sell on. The landfill is situated next to the city’s wetlands, resulting in the leaching of toxins into the surrounding water table. 23rd November, 2013.
A worker burns electrical wires in order to extract the copper inside. The process is carried out in the open air in central Kolkata, resulting in highly toxic emissions being released into the surrounding air and soil. Workers have little to no protection. I’m in India this month documenting how the country is battling many forms of pollution. Join me on ‘Project Live - India’ http://gallagher-photo.com/project-live-india