On a trip to the region, known to be the quintessential hub of the most of the minerals found in India, I stumbled upon frames that narrated the ethos of the place. It was the abandoned coal mines area of Bihar and Jharkhand that I got to visit. The pits here belong to a big mining company that supplies a lion share of coal and other minerals to the country and also is one of the top names in the list of exporters.
After the authority were done with extracting, the mines were left deserted. They are now scraped by the locals to earn their livelihood from whatever deposit they can find.
The day starts here even before the rays of the sun reach the surface of our planet. In dark, people make their way to the abandoned mines. The whole day they scrape the earth with a hope to make fortunes yet they hardly are able to make their ends meet. The families that live here, believe in the theory of ‘the more hands, the more to yield’. Hence the children are also not spared. They work along side their parents and are mostly miles away from where they were actually supposed to be; schools.
This happens to be just one side of the story while the other one is even more terrifying and attention worthy. It is that of the larking risk that can devour life in a flicker of an eye. Since the earth here is already scraped away by the company holding authority, the surface here is mostly hollow and susceptible. On top of that, it is being burrowed, day in and day out, by the locals. Friction of coal generates heat and keeps the surface holding a blaze underneath all the while men and women keep digging around with their little ones sticking by their laps or their backs.
Life is difficult and the battle is never ending. When I was roaming around the area, I saw faces that tell stories of struggle and hope; of taking on big risks while enjoying small happy moments. Knowing the threat hidden under the shallow layers, these people never give up. They live every moment of life to express, not to impress.
its a continious project ........................ in search of "Unearthing life"