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