Selvaprakash L

Photo by: Selvaprakash L

I shot this image at a stone quarry in Rampura, near Bangalore in India, while researching a story on the living and working conditions of labourers employed in the granite industry. I walked into the pit and came upon two boys operating a drill and planting dynamite sticks. Suddenly one of them looked up at me. His eyes were a startling blue and set like sapphires in his dust-covered face. I tried to ask him his name but he just stared and continued to drill. I though the roar of the machine had drowned out my voice, but then his friend told me that he was hearing impaired. The two boys had grown up in the quarry, because their parents worked there too. The constant exposure to high intensity blasts had damaged the blue-eyed boy’s motor-neuron functions. I just had to click because I wanted to show this image to the world as a testimony to the dangers of child labour. Even though it was officially banned in India in 2006, child labour is still a huge problem. Sadly, I never did find out the boy’s name.

Selvaprakash L.
By arrangement with
Drik Picture Library Ltd

mag cover This article is from the July 2008 issue of New Internationalist.
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