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The hellish coal fields of Jharia | DW Documentary

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Savitri Mahto’s morning begins with her shift at the coal mine. There the 17-year-old toils away for hours every day in order to support her family. The toxic fumes are destroying Savitri’s health, but she cannot afford to see a doctor. Jharia in the Indian state of Jharkhand is home to around 600,000 people. It’s in the middle of the country’s largest coal field. Jharia, named after the city and region of the same name, also has a devastating number of coal seam fires - locally and globally one of the biggest causes of environmental pollution. Coal fires pump enormous quantities of carbon dioxide into the air. Savitri Mahto toils away every day in this toxic atmosphere before going to school. DW reporter Sonia Phalnikar has the story. The Hellish Coal Fields of Jharia A Report by Sonia Phalnikar _______ Subscribe to DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1# For more information visit: http://www.dw.com/documentaries Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dwdocumentary/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories DW netiquette policy: http://www.dw.com/en/dws-netiquette-policy/a-5300954
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Text Comments (29)
Vincent Vega (8 months ago)
It's not fair dammit!
Amit Kumar (11 months ago)
WTF sad to see her suffer. I´ll pay for her education.
C. Lincoln (11 months ago)
Poor souls. They just need a pneumatic hammer + some type of solar power charger to run the hammer with.... then they could do as much work in 1 hour as they'd normally do in 10... with 1/4 the effort required.
Luckow (1 year ago)
Poor girl.. Looks like stranded in some Jakku planet far away. May God bless them through Jesus Christ
ayitian1 (1 year ago)
Capitalism is evil. Everything they need to live is free.
Luckow (1 year ago)
ayitian1 Capitalism works. The lack of education is the evil thing.
Luis Jimenez (1 year ago)
It's just sad to see this kids trying to make a living like this, so innocent yet so strong n determined to get ahead on life. God bless you always and that you dreams may come true soon.
heidee wandaga (1 year ago)
I salute this girl for her perseverance to get out of poverty through education despite of it all. I hope she could make it and finish her studies and help her family get out of poverty.God bless her.
polygamous1 Sozou (1 year ago)
Is this what it means to "live" in the Biggest "democracy" on earth? as the "high" cast Indians spend the equivalent of £40 millions to buy huge houses in private estates 24 hour security n everything imaginable as the indian government spends Billions on arms Is this "democracy", God help us all from this sick world we live in, not a world i ever want to come back again ever, once is enough, the suffering that goes on in this world is UNIMAGINABLE but when innocent kids are suffering it hits a sore nerve for most of us
killuminatiro (1 year ago)
I drink charcoal i eat charcoal i take bath with charcoal is not dangerous
Sarath Nair (11 months ago)
anu ojo nice info!
anu ojo (1 year ago)
killuminatiro the charcoal you injest is called activated charcoal which is derived from brown coconut shell. Chances are, if you were drinking the type of charcoal the people in the video are harvesting, you'd be dead by now.
Apt215 Melissa Brown (1 year ago)
Yet, people insist on the existence of a benevolent, universal god whose blood spilled in behalf of all mankind. India alone legitimately calls that into question - 4 hours daily, hoping to finish college - what of their young lungs? How healthy will this 17 year old be in just a few years? How healthy is she now? So much hard work, daily insecurity and danger , risk of sexual assault, sudden death, caring for sickly, therefore useless parents, a burden she shouldn't be obliged to carry. Smart young lady, horrible life. Odds are, she hasn't had a meal before and after many of her classes. Yet, she pushes on in a pitiable life.
Prasad Damoder (1 year ago)
Look at her positivity in her daily struggle! She just can’t help, cause she’s born poor, but she wants to improve it. She’s absolutely correct that she can achieve it through education.. God Bless Her
DW Documentary (1 year ago)
Hi, please read & respect http://www.dw.com/en/dws-netiquette-policy/a-5300954, especially chapter 4. Thanks DW documentary
Prem Chand (1 year ago)
Indian girls aren't being sold into prostitution like you think, and caste isn't as big a problem as it is made out to be. Check your facts.
Apt215 Melissa Brown (1 year ago)
Prasad Damoder . . . barring severe injury, being sold into prostitution, forced into marriage and diminished health, absolutely she can. Since caste didn't come up, assuming it isn't another of her hurdles, she can compete without it as a factor in pursuit of employment later. Maybe her generation will experience the complete demise of "caste" discrimination. It's already illegal.
s kashyap (1 year ago)
There is huge money in entertainment, IPL and AIFF but not for them ....
Ahmad Wazir (1 year ago)
F the government, this is not stealing. It's the land of the people!
Gregg J_ (1 year ago)
so unfair some people have to work like this
Rupesh malakar (1 year ago)
This is my hometown . Nice documenty but not full documentary pls upload remaining part.... And very dost for child labour ....
Apt215 Melissa Brown (1 year ago)
Rupesh malakar - Often videos are foreshortened to avoid copywrite infringements. Some tubers upload into segments.
Eisen J Eisen (1 year ago)
That is a heart breaker, i start working at 12 for my brother-in-law,i was promised $24 a week got only $19, $5 went for SS never got that.
kazi farzin (1 year ago)
Here the king of child labor India strikes again .
Apt215 Melissa Brown (1 year ago)
kazi farzin - Well, we (the US) only made child labor illegal decades ago and began enforcing it only decades later. In reality, tyranny is universal. The UK has a similar track record, actually once preferring children who could slide through tiny spaces in the coal mines, not to mention work for less. Besides, our companies despise social progress and look abroad to set up shop wherever regulation and legislation permits abuses - abuses that thrived here until the 20th century.
popoye zeus (1 year ago)
Real people real struggle...
Apt215 Melissa Brown (1 year ago)
popoye zeus - Sure some suffering presents in a bolder way, but who gets to place struggle on a spectrum btw say, 1 and 10? She has never known a better life, so she has stamina - and it seems a loving family and a bit of hope. Some firstworlders haven't known that degree of insecurity, can endure far less physical suffering, lack a loving family and can't seem to muster hope. The human psyche . . . what a mystery. With less daily uncertainty, but other stressors, I have wanted to kill myself, fearing the depth of how far I might fall and how lonely and shameful that fall could be. There s nothing peculiar about my experience and viewpoint. Successful, beloved people (Robin Williams) have left this world at their own hands and it always baffles. How does one get there? Even folks who profess belief in a higher power or in some kind of salvation doctrine find themselves afraid, alone and suicidal. Of course, even those emotions exist on a spectrum that no one really discerns.
progenitores (1 year ago)
India's GDP might be rising but with an exploding population, it will continue to be hard for these people to change their fortunes. Without some sort of mechanism to slow down the population growth, this shithole of a situation will persist for many...Bangladesh, which is next door to this region, is another massive hellish place
Sutanu Chakraborty (16 days ago)
Most of our states already have decreasing or near constant population.Only 3-4 states cause all the population increase.My state has a near constant population for last 2 decades.

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