Keven Frayer of the Associated Press shot some lovely images of a difficult way of life in India. See a full slideshow here, and read a piece from Earth Day about the impact of open-cast mining in India here.
Kevin Frayer / AP
A young woman stumbles as she tries to carry a large basket of coal as she and others illegally scavenge at an open-cast mine in the village of Bokapahari in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand where a community of coal scavengers live and work. The contrast between India old and new is nowhere more vivid than among the villages of coal scavengers in eastern India, sitting on an apocalyptic landscape of smoke and fire from decades-old underground coal fires. While India grows ever more middle-class and awash in creature comforts, these villagers risk their lives scavenging coal illegally for a few dollars a day, and come back to homes that at any moment could be swallowed by a fresh fire-induced crack in the earth.