At least 8000 people died during the first week and close to 200000 suffered various injuries when the world’s until now worst industrial and environmental catastrophe happened in the Indian town of Bhopal. Today, more than 25 years after the explosion in a chemical factory, the town water supply is still poisoned.
The Italian photographer Alex Masi has regularly returned to Bhopal to document the residents and their struggle for survival.
His photos of the 7-year old girl Poonam have been selected as a winner by the jury of the International photo competition – Photographers Giving Back Awards. The organisers of this competition and Alex Masi have now decided that the prize money of USD 5000 should go to Poonam and her family.
The family lives in one of the poorest areas of Bhopal built on top of the chemical dump created and used by the American corporation Union Carbide until the 1984 catastrophe.
- The five children of this family live in a mud hut and very rarely attend school. They lack clothing as well as shoes, food, pens, paper and all other basic life necessities. We will try to ensure that Poonam goes to school; we will sponsor her education and then help the family in making their lives more tolerable. Some of the money will be used to enable the family to become self-sufficient, Alex Masi explains.
It is now two years since the press photographer Jonas Lemberg founded a charitable project named Photographers Giving Back Award.
– Last year we awarded almost SEK 40000 to a home for abused women in Eastern Congo. That money was directly used helping 230 women to start up a farm. This is exactly what Photographers Giving Back Award is all about, to draw attention to injustice and to try to do something about it. I hope our efforts in Bhopal will be just as successful, Jonas Lemberg concludes.
The picture of seven year old Poonamn can be downloaded here. www.thepgbphotoaward.com/PGB-charity-Bhopal.jpg
For more information contact Jonas Lemberg or the photographer Alex Masi
Tel. +44 (0) 792.863.7225 (UK)
Tel. +91 (0) 997.184.6141 (India)
Tel. +39 (0) 348.971.3861 (Italy)
SUMMARY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS GIVING BACK AWARD
The international photo competition Photographers Giving Back Award is one of the world’s fastest growing photo competitions.
What makes the competition so unique is that part of the prize money is used to help the people depicted in the photos.
In connection with the competition the photographic books, The PGB Photo Book 1 and 2, have been published. These books show more than a 100 of the best photos from the competition.