This woman named Saida is a tannery worker in the Indian city of Kanpur. She is one of many tannery workers, farmers, & local residents suffering serious skin conditions caused by contact with toxic chemicals used in leather manufacturing. Her small home is just steps away from the Ganges where tannery water is dumped. “That is the water we drink,” she said. “Because it is such a bad environment, this is why all the diseases are here.”
All the other diseases she refers to are respiratory (including tuberculosis), neurological, digestive, dermatological, severe mental & physical disabilities in newborns, blindness, cancer, & numerous other life-threatening illnesses.
Recognition that neoliberal policies are incompatible with human health & well-being is wide-spread. All that’s left is an understanding of how to rid this beautiful planet of its scourge. Our strength resides in numbers, in commmitment, & an understanding that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
(Photo by Sean Gallagher, 2013)