Thousands of Indian metal polishers put their health at risk everyday as they manually buff stainless steel utensils. Workers in the almost 3000 small metal buffing units through out Delhi buff without any masks or gloves, putting them at risk of respiratory diseases. Workers at the unit polish the metals after they cut out at nearby factories. After the polishing they are sent back to the factories, where they are packed and sent to overseas markets including Europe, South Africa and the Arabian Gulf. Most of these workers are from the most disadvantaged sections of the society, children and old women. Thousands of child-labourers in the Asian economic giant who work in high risk industries like the metal industry despite government legislation against child labour.
During the shoot I had to leave this small room a few times to breathe, as the air inside was thick with polished metal residue. Fortunately, that gave the workers something to laugh about!
Sagar Kaul/Barcroft India