Treading on Poison

 
In the future, the government will make the switch to nuclear energy as an alternative to the current energy sources. People need to be made aware of what is really going on before nuclear energy is harnessed nationally. Photograph/Chinky Shukla

In the future, the government will make the switch to nuclear energy as an alternative to the current energy sources. People need to be made aware of what is really going on before nuclear energy is harnessed nationally. Photograph/Chinky Shukla

Chinky Shukla documents the story of a displaced community that continues to live with the side effects of nuclear energy development in India.

This article was originally published in January 2014.

Chinky Shukla is a Delhi-based photojournalist. She has always had a strong fascination for visual storytelling and believes in its power in shaping our collective consciousness. Her intention in her own work is to use the dynamism of photographs to communicate about complex issues and help generate positive societal change.

Chinky Shukla
is a Delhi-based
photojournalist.
She has always had a
strong fascination for
visual storytelling and
believes in its power in
shaping our collective
consciousness.

Not many people are familiar with a little town in Jharkhand called Jadugoda and even fewer are aware of its nuclear power plants. These plants have transformed Jadugoda’s villages into places out of nightmares. Upon arriving, I discovered that a majority of the villagers were employees of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL). Working at the nuclear power plants has played havoc with the health of its employees and their children. Shockingly enough, the workers are neither provided with any protective gear nor are they aware of the true nature of the substances they deal with on a daily basis. Are human lives an affordable cost of development and moving forward? My work is an attempt to ponder over this.

How to Create a Solid Base for Photographing the People of a Community

  • Avoid making pictures when you are first introduced to a community or a village. Emphasise on building a rapport with them at the beginning, and then you can start looking for photographic opportunities.
  • Most often, the marginalised communities that you meet have already encountered several other photographers just like you. You need to convince them as to why you want to tell their story.
Tags: black and white, chinky shukla, Documentary, jadugoda, january 2014, Jharkhand, nuclear, nuclear power plant, Uranium Corporation of India Limited