Subhrajit Sen is an India-based documentary photographer. His work predominantly concentrates on the socio-political issues that are jeopardizing livelihood while being ignored by mainstream media. After completing graduation, he enrolled at Counter Foto, a center for visual arts, Dhaka, in 2016 to learn documentary photography. With an urge to thwart the inevitable effects of Uranium Mining, he started his photography career through a project named Death Valley. It has been awarded Ian Parry Scholarship 2020 and received Social Documentary 2018 grant by SACAC & MNF New Delhi.
Before being turned into a Uranium mining zone in 1965, Jadugoda, in Jharkhand State, was a lush green forested area inhabited by tribes. In its lust for resources to generate Nuclear energy and weapons, the Indian Government sacrificed the forest and its inhabitants. The displaced people shifted into the periphery of a 160 km uranium mine and remained very much within a dangerous radiation zone. From then on, the rates of miscarriages, cancer, tuberculosis, and many forms of genetic disorders increased to a hopeless rate. For water, these people used to depend on the Subarnarekha River. The mines' toxic waste not only contaminated this river but also ruined its aqua life. My work describes how these people have been displaced and devastated by the Indian Government's hunt for radioactive ores. This story points out how power centers can operate with minimum concern for nature and those who live in nature.
The hills of Jadugoda have been mined for uranium over five decades, creating half a century of a toxic legacy in the surrounding villages.
Anamika Oraom (15) lives in Dungridi, 1 km away from Narwa Pahar Uranium Mine, with her mother, Nagi Oroam (45). Anamika has been suffering from a malignant tumour on her face since birth. Doctors suggested an operation when she was five years old, but her family could not afford the surgery. Her mother is also suffering from various tumours on her body.
Opencast uranium mine at Turamdih village near Jadugoda milling factory.
Conflagration is the primary way to destroy the forest in mining regions. Villagers are hugely losing their land, houses and facing health crises for this.
Haradhan is helping his father in a paddy field. He suffers from a facial deformity.
Children are playing just in front of a uranium mine at Jadugoda village. People live barely 500 meters away. In a 1998 report, the environment committee of the Bihar Legislative Assembly had stated that no village should be within five kilometres of the mines and tailing ponds.
Rakesh is with his beloved pets. He did not walk ever after since birth. Most of the children stay home alone throughout the day because parents are working on paddy fields or nearby mines.
This tailing pond contains radioactive waste from the uranium processing plant. It passes by a hamlet near the Turamdih uranium mine.
Renowned indigenous poet, singer, and activist Durga Prasad Murmu is practicing a musical instrument (banam) at his house. He is 55, and his legs are deformed. For the last 18 years, he has been running a school that educates tribal children. He says that his battle is not only against radiation but also against illiteracy. If we have basic education and knowledge, we can fight against radiation.
At a local tribal festival, people have gathered to worship a figure of an elephant. Due to the heavy deforestation for mining, wild animals frequently enter human settlements and destroy villagers' belongings.
Paltu Ram Sardar is with his beloved pets. He did not walk ever after since birth. Now Piu (parrot) is his only companion at Bango Village near Jaduguda uranium mines.
In a village named Bhatin, just 2 km away from Narwa Uranium mine, Mithun Patra, a 15-year-old suffering from cerebral palsy due to the heavy radiation. Jadugoda, India.
A picture of Ajit Murmu, daily labour at a uranium mine. He died a few years ago, aged 45, due to unidentified diseases. These kinds of symptoms are widespread among the people of this region.
Dulal (27) went to the nearby forest with his father, who has been a firewood supplier since his birth. Dulal cannot speak. He has a mental disorder. The jungle is the source of income for a considerable number of villagers.
Renowned indigenous poet, singer, and activist Durga Prasad Murmu is returning home from school. For the last 18 years, he has been running a school educating tribal peoples.