In December 2017, Help Delhi Breathe collaborated with Ruhani Kaur, an Indian Photojournalist to document the impact of coal pollution on the lives of people living in Singrauli, India’s power capital.

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photo by @ruhanikaur for @everydayclimatechange On my own, I can’t move at all. It takes two people at a time to move me in and out. If I don’t have my medicines, I won’t be able to survive for even one day.- Vijay Kumar Sharma, Fluoride Patient, Pipragaon Nayi Basti. Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #climatechange#globalwarming#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases#extremeweather#heatwave#dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#helpdelhibreathe#thefarvalley

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Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh is home to over 10 towering coal-fuelled power plants, including India’s largest thermal power station. For the community living there, these power plants are costing them their lives. They’re battling cancer, kidney failure and disability. The air is so thick with ash and noxious gases from the power plants that it blankets whole towns and villages with a thick layer of soot. Some days it blocks out the sun, turning day to night, leaving people struggling to breathe.

Every day in Singrauli, the families living around the ancient thermal power plants and coal mines know the exact cost of this capitulation to the power industry. Each day brings new misery, illnesses and deaths.

To raise awareness and highlight the tragic human and environmental impact of unregulated coal power plants and open cast coal mines in Singrauli, Ruhani took over Everyday Climate Change’s Instagram handle between 6-10 August, 2018.

 

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photo by @ruhanikaur for @everydayclimatechange In Gariya Block located 10 kms away from Anpara the Pradhan’s (elected head) records show that as many as 33 deaths were registered in 2016 alone. Also not one a single water source was uncontaminated. Yet, the
official cause of death of 22-year-old Raju from Bicchi Village of the same block was ‘an acute stomach ailment’. Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #helpdelhibreathe#thefarvalley#climatechange #globalwarming #india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases#extremeweather#heatwave#dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india

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photo by @ruhanikaur for @everydayclimatechange My whole family, our two kids have become handicapped. We have become disabled, both my wife and I, and our spines have bent. Our bodies have no life, no strength, no power at all. — Laleram Yadav, Gariah, 10 kms away from Anpara Thermal Power Plant. Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #climatechange#globalwarming#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases #extremeweather#heatwave #dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#helpdelhibreathe#thefarvalley

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photo by @ruhanikaur for @everydayclimatechange “We are realising that this is all happening due to water – it is the fluoride that is polluting us. They tell us not to drink from the well, not to drink from the hand pump. So where should we drink water from?” says a distressed Laleram Yadav from Gariah, 10 kms away from Anpara Thermal Power Plant. On testing samples at a recognised laboratory at Ahmedabad, the Gram Panchayat found that not a single water source was uncontaminated. This is accepted by the Jal Board (Department of Water) too. Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #thefarvalley#climatechange#globalwarming#climatechange#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases#extremeweather#heatwave#dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#helpdelhibreathe

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photo by @ruhanikaur for @everydayclimatechange During our time, there was no illness. In the last 10-15 years, it is everywhere. Those days, the water was not like this. Now, the water itself is the illness! My whole body has got jammed like iron. Only my hands move a little. Whatever little moves, I move. I eat, I shit, everything I do is on this cot only. How long can I live like this? -Vindhyachal, 70-year-old patient. Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #climatechange#globalwarming#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases#extremeweather#heatwave#dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#helpdelhibreathe#thefarvalley

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Video by @ruhanikaur and @viveksingh @thefarvalley for @everydayclimatechange Carbon Dioxide emissions, due to the burning of coal and the release of methane during coal mining, cause long-term and irreversible global warming. Yet, the Indian government continues its staggering dependence on coal for its energy needs, and is aiming to peak its production by 2037. In the meantime, the lives of the affected and forgotten continue to be cut short. #climatechange#globalwarming#climatechangeisreal#climatechangeawareness#climatechanges#coal#coalminer#globalwarming#airpollution#pollution#coalmining#humanrights#airpocalypse#coalkills#india#fossilfuels#hydrocarbons#greenhousegases #extremeweather#heatwave#dirtycoal#pollution#contamination#helpdelhibreathe#thefarvalley

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Everyday Climate Change has a huge audience, with over 112,000 followers of photographers, artists, creatives and climate change activists. Instagram is a great storytelling platform to share content and engage with a diverse and global audience. Through photographs, video testimonials and quotes, it helped us in reaching out to a new audience and highlighting the impact that dirty coal is having on the air we breathe and our health.

 


Megha Chadha
Purpose Climate Lab, India