Shipbreakers

[ movie spool sounding][ spooky instrumental throughout][ woman sings aria throughout][ singing continues][ music slowly fades] NARRATOR: IS BELIEVEDTHE GODDESS KALI PROTECTS THIS PLACE. AT DAWN, A RITUAL OFFERING INVOKES HER NAME. “DELIVER ME ACROSS THIS OCEAN OF SUFFERING, OH, KALI, DESTROY MY SORROWS.” IT IS THE SHIPBREAKERS’ PRAYER. THIS IS ALANG, ON INDIA’S BAY OF CAMBAY. A PLACE WHERE SHIPS COME TO DIE, AND MEN DIE WITH THEM. THEY COME FROM ALL OVER INDIA, FROM IMPOVERISHED TOWNS AND VILLAGES WHERE THERE IS NO WORK, LITTLE HOPE.[ through translator] MITTU: MY NAME IS NARYAN CHAND BUT EVERYONE CALLS ME MITTU. I COME FROM A POOR VILLAGE. MY PARENTS LIVE IN SHEER POVERTY AND HUNGER. WHEN I DECIDED TO COME, I TOLD MY FRIEND,’ DON’T TELL MY PARENTS UNTIL I’M ON THE TRAIN .’ WHEN MY PARENTS FOUND OUT, THEYCRIED, “YOU SHOULD HAVE STUDIED, LEARNED SOMETHING. WHAT IS THERE IN ALANG? ” I “ve told them”,’ I’LL SEND WHATEVER MONEY’ IS LEFT AFTER I HAVE PAID FOR MY OWN BASIC NECESSITIES .’ NARRATOR: Good-for-nothing COULD HAVE Readied MITTU FOR WHAT HE WAS ABOUT TO SEE, HUNDREDS OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SHIPS BEACHED LIKE GREAT WHALES ON THE SHORE.THIS IS THE BIGGEST SHIPGRAVEYARD IN THE WORLD. ON 10 KILOMETRES OFOILY SAND, 40,000 Servicemen TEAR APART HALF THE WORLD’S DISCARDED SHIPS WITH THEIR BARE HANDS. IT IS ONE OF THE BIGGESTRECYCLING OPERATIONS ANYWHERE. IT IS ALSO AN ENVIRONMENTALDISASTER. FOR THE MEN WHO BREAK THE SHIPS, THE PARADOX IS CLEAR: THE JOB THAT MIGHT KILL THEM IS THEIR ONLY HOPE OF SURVIVAL. MITTU: WHEN I CAME Now, I SAW A HUGE PIECE OF IRON SINK INTO THE SEA. I WONDER HOW A BIG SHIP FLOATS .[ ship’s cornet blows] CAPTAIN: ALANG, CONTROL? CONTROL? Are now in, PLEASE. CONTROL: ALANG CONTROL. NARRATOR: HIGH TIDE ON THE ARABIAN SEA; OPTIMUM CONDITIONS FOR THE FIRST STEP OF SHIP-BREAKING: A BEACHING.[ ambiguou radio reply] CAPTAIN: ROGER, COAST TO 250. OKAY. CAPTAIN: 7.7 Knots, SIR. STILL INCREASING, RIGHT? CAPTAIN: YEAH, STILL INCREASING. COMING UP NOW. HA, HA, OKAY. NARRATOR: FOR A SAILOR, THE MOST UNNATURAL THING IN THE WORLD IS TO BEACH A SHIP, 9,000 TONNES OF STEEL PLOUGHING AT FULL SPEED, STRAIGHT FOR SHORE. HOW MUCH CAN WE GO UP AHEAD NOW? CAPTAIN: OH, WE STILL GOT ABOUT TWO MILES TO GO.NOW, WE’RE JUST DOING ABOUT 11. 2-9-0. ROGER, 2-9-0. NARRATOR: IT’S A TENSE OPERATION, GUIDED ONLY BY THE HUMAN EYEAND SIMPLE COMPASS DIRECTIONS. HOW MUCH NOW? SPEED: 10.9 Braids. OKAY, MAKE, UH, 2-9-5. ROGER, 2-9-5. NARRATOR: THIS IS THE JOURNEY EVERY CAPTAIN DREADS. CAPTAIN S. K. MAJREKAR: IT IS MY SHIP, BUT NOW IT’S GOING TO THE GRAVEYARD, YOU KNOW? NARRATOR: THE BRAZILIAN CHEMICAL TANKER VELMA APPROACHES HER FINAL DESTINATION AFTER 30 YEARS AT SEA. YEAH, IT’S JUST GETTING THE ENGINE R.P.M. TO SPEED AND, UH, THE CAPTAIN HAS ALREADY GIVEN US A STANDBY. NARRATOR: OVER THE Times, THE VELMA HAS BEEN HOME FOR HUNDREDS OF SAILORS, AND IT’S AN EMOTIONAL FAREWELL. THE NIGHT BEFORE, HER ENGINES CEASED, AS THOUGH SHE KNEW THE END WAS NEAR. YOU DEVELOP A KIND OF HUMAN ATTACHMENT ALMOST, YOU KNOW. SOMETIMES WHEN MY MACHINES DON’T WORK, I LITERALLY TALK TO THEM ANDI TELL THEM, JUST ONE LAST TIME.NOW I KNOW I’M TAKING HER ON HERLAST JOURNEY. I’M TAKING HER IN. I JUST LOOK AT IT FROM THE POINT OF VIEW LIKE A PERSON WHO’S GIVING OFF HIS ORGANS, YOU KNOW, AFTER A DEATH OR SOMETHING. YOU KNOW, WHEN HE’S GIVEN THE PERMISSION AND THEN A PART OF HIM LIVES IN SOMEONE ELSE, YOU KNOW. WE Imagine, IT’S AN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF REBIRTH, YOU KNOW, KARMA. ROGER, 3-1-2, SIR. 3-1-2. HARD PORT. YES, YES, SIR, HARD PORT NOW.NARRATOR: WITH ITS KEELSCRAPING BOTTOM, THE TANKER DRIVES HARD TOWARDS A NARROW LOT, A FEW FEET FROM THE WORKERS ONSHORE.[ ghostly metallic kowtow][ no talk] NARRATOR: CAPTAIN MAJREKAR HAS MADE A PERFECT BEACHING. WE ARE BEACHED, FANTASTIC. WEARE MOSTLY ON THE BEACH, NEARLY. OKAY, BUT KEEP THE ENGINES AHEAD, I’VE STILL GOT TO LAND WITH THE ANCHORS. OKAY. NARRATOR: NOW THIS ONCE PROUDVESSEL HAS BECOME SCRAP. TODAY, ALANG IS WELL KNOWN, EVEN INFAMOUS, BUT TWO DECADES AGO, IT WAS A PRISTINE SHORE THAT FEW PEOPLE HAD HEARD OF. ASIF KHAN: THE FIRST TIMEI HAD EVER COME TO ALANG, WE CAME TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. AND WE MUST HAVEWALKED FIVE KILOMETRES ALONG THIS WHOLE BEACH JUST TO MEET ONE FISHERMAN. NARRATOR: ASIF KHAN WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF ALANG. WE HAD THE FIRST SHIP HEREIN ABOUT JUNE OF 1983. WHEN SHE CAME HERE JUST AT THE LIGHTHOUSE BECAUSE THERE WAS ONLY THE LIGHTHOUSE, AN OPEN BEACH WITH A LIGHTHOUSE. SHE CAME OPPOSITE ALANG LIGHT.AND THAT’S WHERE WE STARTED TO PUT IN THE PLOTS. WE Framed PLOT NUMBER ONE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE LIGHTHOUSE. NARRATOR: THERE ARE1 83 Areas TODAY. THIRTY YEARS AGO, SHIP-BREAKING WAS DONEFROM DRY DOCKS IN CANADA, The united states Mood And europeans, BEFORE LABOUR COSTS AND ENVIRONMENTALREGULATIONS SHUT IT DOWN. IN THE 1980 s, INDIAN ENTREPRENEURS SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY. THEY DIDN’T NEED EXPENSIVE DOCKS: Precisely A BEACH THAT THEY COULD DRAG THE SHIPS ONTO. ALANG WAS PERFECT. THE HIGH TIDES WOULD CARRY EVEN SUPER TANKERS ONSHORE, AND WEDGE THEM IN THE SAND.[ Native language throughout] NARRATOR: SOME CALL IT INDIA’S GOLD RUSH, AND MIGRANT WORKERSJUST KEEP COMING, LURED BY A FEWDOLLARS A DAY. ASIF KHAN: PEOPLE LIKE MITTU WOULD COME HERE, BASICALLY, FOR THE COMMUNITY MOVING HERE, AND THIS IS A GOOD EARNING WAGE COMPARED TO WHERE HE IS FROM, WHERE THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WORK, IN A WAY. SO, THIS IS A WORK THAT’S ACCEPTED THERE.AND THEY LOOK FORWARD TO COME HERE. BECAUSE IT’S A PRESTIGIOUS JOB TO BE IN ALANG. MITTU: THE FIRST DAY I CAME TO THE SHIPYARD, I Questioned FOR WORK. A MAN TOLD ME TO SEPARATE THE IRON PIECES AND THE NON-IRON PIECES WITH THE HELP OF A MAGNET. I’M Merely THINKING, THIS SHIP WILL FEED SO MANY PEOPLE. AT LEAST 500 PEOPLE WILL EARN A LIVING WHILE THIS SHIP IS BROKEN DOWN. NARRATOR: IT CAN TAKE SIX MONTHS FOR A SHIP TO LITERALLY DISAPPEAR; HAULED AWAY BY HAND, Little by little. STEEL CABLES PULL THE VESSEL HIGHER ONSHORE. IF A CABLE SNAPS, IT CAN CUT A MAN IN HALF.[ strange creaking][ female sings aria] NARRATOR: ON THIS BEACH, THE TEMPERATURE RISES TO ALMOST 50 Units CELSIUS. THERE ARE FIRES OF A THOUSAND TORCHES AND FUMES FROMBURNING STEEL. SHIP-BREAKING IS A BILLIONDOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY, AND EVERYONE WANTS A CUT. WESTERN COMPANIES DON’T PAY TO DISPOSE OF THEIR SHIPS CLEANLY; INSTEAD, THEY SELL THEM FOR SCRAP. THE INDIAN BUYERS MAKE A PROFIT BY RESELLING THE STEEL WITH VERY FEW COSTS, NO BENEFITS FOR THEIR WORKERS, NO SOCIAL SAFETY NET. CAPTAIN MAJREKAR: THIS IS LORD GANESH, THIS IS OUR DEITY.I PLACE IT ON MY SHIP AND THEN IPRAY TO THE IDOL THAT YOU PLEASE GUIDE MY SHIP AND TAKE IT TO A SAFE DESTINATION. RIGHT NOW THAT I BROUGHT HER TO THE SAFE DESTINATION THIS IS MY LAST PRAYER TO THIS DEITY AND THAT’S THE END OF MY JOURNEY. NARRATOR: THE VELMA WAITS TO BE BROKEN. HER ELECTRICITY HAS BEEN CUT. HER LIFELINE IS GONE. AFTER A VOYAGE OF 30 Times, SHE SEEMS FROZEN IN TIME; AS THOUGH HER CREWJUST VANISHED, LEAVING EVERYTHING BEHIND. YOU FEEL BAD BUT THERE’S A STATE IN EVERYBODY’S LIFE WHERE YOU HAVE TO– IT’S CALLED THE END, SO IT’S THE END FOR HER. WHAT’S THAT? YEAH. STEEL TO STEEL, DUST TO DUST. IT’S NOT IN YOUR BLOOD TO BEACH A VESSEL, YOU KNOW. BUT THEN YOU REALISE ULTIMATELY, THAT WHAT’SNECESSARY HAS TO BE DONE. YOU SEE, THIS VESSEL HASSERVED ITS USEFUL PURPOSE AND THE STEEL WILLGET CUT AND PERHAPS GO INTO THE MAKING OF ANOTHER VESSEL WHICH WILL AGAIN START THE WHOLE CYCLE, VIRTUALLY, THE CYCLE OF LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN .[ ambiguou screaming throughout] NARRATOR: THIS TANKER IS THE SIZE OF AN APARTMENT BLOCK, TEN STORIES HIGH … CHALLENGING THE MEN WHO WILL BREAK IT DOWN. NARRATOR: PATIL ANDHIS CREW ARE GAS CUTTERS, THE ELITE OF SHIPBREAKING. THEY ARE THE FIRST MEN TO TORCH UP INSIDE THE SHIP, AFTER THE FUEL LINES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CLEARED. ASIF KHAN: MY SENIOR CUTTERS DO HAVE A VERY GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE SHIP ITSELF. HE’S NUMERO UNO, IN A WAY, OF THE WHOLE ORGANISATION, THAT HE KNOWS EXACTLY HOW A SHIP IS BUILT. HE’S NOT HAD ANY COURSE IN NAVAL ARCHITECTURE, NOR HAS HE HAD ANY ENGINEERING COURSE.BUT THIS IS A TRADITIONHE HAS LEARNED FROM OBSERVATION. NARRATOR: ASIF KHAN WAS ONE OF THE ONLY SHIPYARD OWNERS WHO WOULD TALK TO US, ONE OFTHE FEW REGARDED AS A GOOD BOSS. THEY’RE DOING THE WORST POSSIBLE THING YOU CAN DO TO A SHIP. WE’RE NOT Paint IT, NOT REPAIRING IT, WE’RE ACTUALLY BREAKING IT. NARRATOR: IT’S A 40 Paw DROP. AND THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE. NO PLANS TO INDICATE WHICH SECTION TO CUT OR HOW THEY WILL FALL. NARRATOR: DEADLY VAPOURSCAN BE TRAPPED BEHIND THE STEEL. GAS CUTTERS LITERALLY FOLLOW THEIR NOSES, KNOWING EACH CUT COULD SET OFF AN EXPLOSION. IN INDIA, THIS IS THE AGE OF KALYUGA, THE AGE OF IRON, THE AGE OF DARKNESS .[ rhythmic chiming throughout] EACH DAY IN ALANG, THERE ARE Habits AND PRAYERS FOR THE SHIPBREAKERS AT THE HINDU SHRINE OF KALI MAA. SHE IS THEIR SPIRITUAL PROTECTOR: GODDESS OF BOTH BIRTH AND DESTRUCTION, SHE IS AN AWESOME FORCE. NARRATOR: LIKE ALANG ITSELF, KALI MAA IS A PARADOX: THE MAN-EATING DESTROYER WHO IS ALSO THE GIVER OF LIFE.[ Native singing throughout][ music fades gently] MITTU: I HAVE SIX Friends, I’M THE YOUNGEST. ONE OF MY BROTHERS DIED HERE. WE ARE Pushed TO DO THIS WORK. WE ARE POOR PEOPLE, WHAT CHOICES DO WE HAVE?[ singing resumes] NARRATOR: AS CERTAIN AS THE TIDES THAT BRING THESESHIPS TO ALANG, IT IS THE CYCLE OF DEATH AND REBIRTH THAT FORMS THE RHYTHM HERE.PATRICK MICHAEL: THE MEN WORKON TOP AND THE WOMEN ARE DOWN. BY ROPE THEY LOWER THEM, AND THEY BRING THEM TO THE PLOT AND LOAD THEM IN THE TRACTORS. AND WHICH EVER DEALER HAS BOUGHT IT, IT Moves TO HIS PLOT. THE WOMEN’S JOB’S ONLY TO CARRY THIS FROM THE SHIP. SO, INSTEAD OF WORKING ABOUT 10 Hours IN THE FIELD IN THE HEAT, THIS IS AN EASIER JOB, SO THE WOMEN TAKE THIS.PAY IS NOT SO GOOD. IT’S 40 RUPEES FOR Ladies, 50 RUPEES FOR GENTS.[ Native singing throughout] NARRATOR: ONCE KNOWN AS THE’ GYPSUM KING’ THIS CANADIAN-BUILT SHIP OFFERS UP WESTERN RICHES FOR A NEW MARKET.[ collective claps of inducement] BHAVIN S. SHAW: THERE ARE NO INDIGENOUS STEEL MANUFACTURING PLANTSIN THIS PART OF INDIA. SO THIS IS A GOD-GIVEN GIFT TO THIS REGION OF OUR COUNTRY AND WE CAN PRODUCE MILLIONS OF TONNES OF STEEL. MORE THAN 300 Sends ARE BEING SCRAPPED EVERY YEAR, SO THAT WOULD BE MORE THAN 50 PER CENT OF THE TOTAL SHIPS BEING SCRAPPED ALL OVER THE WORLD. NARRATOR: THIS SHIPYARDGENERATES NEARLY THREE MILLION TONNES OF RECYCLED STEEL EACH YEAR, AND WITH IT, THOUSANDS MORE JOBS ARE CREATED INDOWNSTREAM INDUSTRIES .[ upbeat instrumental] ASIF KHAN: WHEN WE FIRST CAME HERE, I Foresee ADJOINING VILLAGES, THEY WOULD HAVE OWNED MAYBE 10 TRUCKS WITHIN1 0 KILOMETRES OF HERE. TODAY WE HAVE A THOUSAND TRUCKS AND THEY ALL GET EMPLOYMENT. THAT’S A VERY GOOD SOURCE OF INCOME FOR THEM. MICHAEL PATRICK: THIS IS PLOT NUMBER 111 AND I DEALWITH THESE BOATS. THESE ARE KNOWN AS LUXURY LINERSAND THEY HAVE ALL THE FACILITIES IN THERE, THERE’S MICROPHONES AND STEERING WHEELS AND WE GET THEM FROMTHE SHIPBREAKING YARD. THESE ARE THE ENGINES.WE DEPEND ON THE SHIPS, THE MORE THE SHIPS COME IN, THE MORE PROFIT WE HAVE OVER HERE. SO MANY ITEMS ARE BEINGRESOLD FOR REUSE. NUMEROUS, THERE’S ENDLESS ITEMS. NARRATOR: MAIN STREET ALANG. THEY SAY YOU CAN FINDANYTHING HERE … AND EVERY KIND OF PERSON. LIKE ANY BOOMTOWN, IT’S BECOME A MAGNET FOR THE HOPEFUL, AND A REFUGE FOR THE DISPOSSESSED: ABANDONED CHILDREN, ORPHANS. NARRATOR: SANGAM’S Father WAS A SHIPBREAKER, WHO STARTED DRINKING, AND DISAPPEARED. THEN HIS MOTHER DIED.NARRATOR: SANGAM’S DREAM ISTO BE WITH HIS LITTLE BROTHER, WHO WORKS AND SLEEPS IN A SHANTY DOWN THE ROAD.[ through translator] THE PEOPLE IN MY VILLAGETHINK THAT THEY HAVE SEEN THE WHOLE WORLD.BUT IF THEY LEAVE THE VILLAGE, THEY WILL REALISE THAT THE WORLD IS SO BIG.[ upbeat instrumental] NARRATOR: FROM ALANG TO THE NEAREST CITY, BHAVNAGAR, IS A JOURNEYOF 50 KILOMETRES. ALONG THE WAY, THERE ARE Signals OF PROSPERITY, EVEN IN THIS PLACE PARCHED FROM DROUGHT.FAR FROM THE SHIPYARDS, THE MONEY GENERATED BY ALANG IS A LIFELINE THAT FEEDS A MILLION MOUTHS. KULUB KAPASI: THERE ARE MANY DOWNSTREAM INDUSTRIES ESPECIALLY STEEL REROLLING MILLS, OXYGEN PLANTS, STEEL PLANTS, SCRAP YARDS. IT HAS BROUGHT WEALTH TO THIS AREA. NOT Simply ALANG PEOPLE, BUT THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE FULL AREA, THEY HAVE UPLIFTED THEMSELVES DUE TO ALANG. NARRATOR: INDUSTRIALREVOLUTION HAS COME TO THE STATE OF GUJARAT, COURTESY OF ALANG. FOR CENTURIES, THIS AREAEXISTED ON AGRICULTURE. NOW FARM BOYS FEED A DIFFERENT BEAST. KULUB KAPASI: YOU NEED TO STUDY THE FULL PROCESS THAT ACTUALLY WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER HERE. WE CAN Assure OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD CREATING MORE PROBLEMS THAN WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE. AND WE ARE NOT DOING ANYTHINGWHICH IS HARMING TO ANY EXTENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT OR TO ANY OTHER COUNTRIES. NARRATOR: THE Trauma IS MORE Insidious. A BLASTING FURNACE MELTS CHUNKS OF METAL AT 1300 DEGREES CELSIUS THE AIR IS ACRID, THE FUMES FILL THE LUNGS. FOR EVERY WORKER KILLED IN SHIPYARD ACCIDENTS, MANY MOREWILL DIE OF THIS, BREATHING THE CARBON FUMES IN THESE STEEL MILLS.KULUB KAPASI: IF ALANG IS AFFECTED TO ANY EXTENT, In a way that was, THEN THERE WILL BE A COLLAPSE IN THE DOWNSTREAM INDUSTRIES. THEY CANNOT SURVIVE. NARRATOR: THE SURVIVAL OF THESE MEN IS IN PERIL TOO. IT IS Calculated ONE IN FOUR WILL GET CANCER.[ creepy singing] “OH, KALI, EVEN AT DEATH, “YOU MAKE THE JOURNEY WITH US. “YOU DWELL ON THE FIERCE CREMATION GROUND. YOUR FIRE CONSUMES US.” NARRATOR: THE STATE OF GUJARAT IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF MAHATMA GANDHI. YET TODAY, IT IS LESSA SYMBOL OF PEACE THAN A RALLYING CRY FOR REFORM. THE SHIPYARDSARE A TOXIC WASTELAND. REPORTS OF THEIR HORRORS DRAW INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION THAT THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN THE INDUSTRY. THE SHIPS BEING SCRAPPED TODAY WERE BUILT IN THE 1970 s, BEFORE ASBESTOS ANDPCBs WERE BANNED.HEAVY METALS WERE Abused IN THEIR PAINTS, SOME CARRIED RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. THESE Elements ARE Exhausted WITH EVERY CUT. THE SAND, THE DUST, THE AIR ARE FULL OF IT. COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA HAVE BANNED THE EXPORT OF TOXINS, UNDER AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY CALLED THE BASEL ACCORD. BUT THE MURKY SALE OF OLD SHIPS SLIPPED UNDER THE RADAR UNTIL 1998, WHEN TWO Reporters WON A PULITZER PRIZE FOR EXPOSING IT. THEN GREEN PEACE SCIENTISTS RELEASED A SHOCKING REPORT. WE FOUND EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELSOF ALL KINDS OF TOXICS. IF WE WOULD FIND THESE TOXICS IN THE WEST, IT WOULD Necessitate A CLEAN UP OF THE SEDIMENT. AN AVERAGE SHIP CAN EASILY HAVE 20 TONNES OF ASBESTOSONBOARD THE SHIP, 600 Sends A Year THAT WOULD Stir 12 MILLION KILO OF ASBESTOS BEING PUT ON THE BEACHES. YOU DON’T NEED ONE KILO TO GET DAMAGING EFFECT ON YOUR HEALTH. THAT’S THE THING WITH TOXIC WASTE, WITH HAZARDOUS WASTE, IN VERY MINIMUM AMOUNTS THEY CAN HAVE DEVASTATING EFFECTS TO THE HEALTH OF PEOPLE.NARRATOR: NAGARSHETH’S ASSOCIATION IS FACEDWITH A DILEMMA. IF INDIA ENFORCES ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, THIRD WORLD COMPETITORS WHO DON’T WILL TAKE THE BUSINESS AWAY. AND HOW CAN THE WEST ENFORCESUCH DOUBLE STANDARDS, WHEN SHIPBREAKING WAS DEEMED TOO HAZARDOUS AND EXPENSIVE TO DO THERE, IN THE FIRST PLACE? DR. HAMIDANI: AMANUENSIS IS A LUNG DISEASE WHICH HAPPENS IN MOST INDUSTRIAL SECTOR AREAS WHERE THERE ARE LOTS OF FUMES, GASES, WHICH IS BEING Inhaled CONSTANTLY. IT IS LIKE SMOKING 10 TO 15 Backpacks OFCIGARETTES A DAY ALL THE TIME. NARRATOR: THE SHIPYARD OWNERS PAY THIS DOCTOR.HIS ADVICE TO THE WORKERS? WORK UPWIND. DR. HAMIDANI: WHILE DOINGTHE GAS CUTTING, HE SHOULD REMAIN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO THE WIND. THE WIND SHOULD JUST GO AWAY.BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF BREEZE ON THE SEASIDE. IT WILL Obviously HARM LESS TO HIM. NARRATOR: ALANG HASBECOME A METAPHOR IN THE STRUGGLE BETWEENTHE THIRD WORLD AND THE FIRST, BETWEEN THE POOR AND THE RICH. IN BOARDROOMS FAR AWAY, SOLUTIONS ARE PONDERED.CAN SHIPBREAKING BECOME CLEAN? WHO WILL PAY? IN THIS BATTLE, TIME IS AN ENEMY. IF SHIP-BREAKING BECAME ECO-FRIENDLY TODAY, IT WOULD TAKE DECADESFOR THIS ENVIRONMENT TO RECOVER.[ siren reverberates] THE SHIPYARD SIREN MARKS THE ENDOF ANOTHER GRUELLING DAY. MITTU’S UNCLE HAS WORKEDIN ALANG FOR 20 YEARS. HIS SIGHT IS ALMOST GONE, HIS FEET ARE BADLY BURNED. MITTU HELPS TAKE CARE OF HIM, IN THE HUT THEY’VE BUILT OF SHIP PARTS IN THE WORKERS SHANTYTOWN ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE BEACH. THERE’S NO Flow WATER HERE, NO LATRINE. JUST SHACKS BUILT ON A SITE THAT Gushes Contaminants FROM THE BEACH. CHOLERA, POLIO, LEPROSY, OLD DISEASES MEET MODERN ONES LIKE AIDS. MY UNCLE HAS BECOME ILL. HE HAS A HIGH FEVER. A Mint OF PEOPLE HERE ARE SICK. MY BROTHER DIED OF A FEVER. MY PARENTS ARE VERYWORRIED ABOUT ME.[ human sings throughout] NARRATOR: ANOTHER ORPHAN HAS FOUND REFUGE ON MAIN STREET. NARRATOR: THIS IS SANGAM’S LITTLE BROTHER, THE BOY WHOSE MOTHERWAS BITTEN BY A SNAKE. NARRATOR: SANTOSH DREAMS OFBECOMING A GAS CUTTER SOMEDAY. NARRATOR: TO WESTERN EYES THIS IS A SLUM; BUT PEOPLE COME BECAUSE THERE IS WORK, MONEY AND A CHANCE FOR A BETTER LIFE.MITTU: I COME FROM THE SOIL OF MY VILLAGE. I MISS MY FAMILY, MY MOTHER THE MOST. I DO NOT WANT TO MARRY, THAT WOULD BE TOO MUCH TENSION. I WOULD HAVE TO EARN MORE TO FEED ANOTHER PERSON. I DO NOT EARN ENOUGH. ALL THAT IS A MATTER UP TO FATE. IT’S ALL IN GOD’S HANDS. NARRATOR: SOME PUT THEIR FAITH IN GOD, SOME FIND SOLACE IN OTHER PLACES, LIKE THE LOCAL BOOTLEGGERS. AFTER WORKING EVERY DAY, I MUST HAVE ONE. FOR MY TIREDNESSAND MY FITNESS, TO GET RID OF BOTH OF THEM. TO GET RID OF THEM! I COME HERE EVERYDAY.[ sombre instrumental] NARRATOR: AT THE SHIPYARDS OF ALANG, NOTHING EVER STAYS THE SAME. IT’S A MOVEABLE WORKSITE. THE ENTRANCE AND EXIT ARE DIFFERENT EVERY DAY. INSIDE, IN THE DARKNESS, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW WHAT IRON CHUNK MAY FALL, OR WHAT STAGING AREA IS SAFE. AS FAR AS THE WORLD IS CONCERNED, IT’S ONE OF THE MOST Hazardous PLACE AS FAR ASWORKPLACE OR OTHER STUFF IS CONCERNED; WE WANT TO ERADICATE THAT IMAGE TOTALLY.MOST IMPORTANT IS THE DEATH RATE SHOULD BECOME ZERO. THEN WE COULD FEEL, OKAY, WE’VE ACHIEVED SOMETHING. NARRATOR: THERE’S NO HOSPITAL IN ALANG. A very close ONE IS AN Hour AWAY. NO ONE REALLYKEEPS RECORDS, BUT IT’S ESTIMATED THAT 8 IN 10 MEN HAVE BEEN INJURED WORKING HERE, THEIR BONES CRUSHED BY STEEL PLATES OR FRACTURED FROM FALLS. SOME ARE BLINDED BY TORCH SPARKS, OTHERS ARE BURNED.NARRATOR: THE RED CROSS CLINIC IN ALANG TAKES THE SIMPLEST CASES. DOCTORS TRAVEL HERE ONE DAY A WEEK. DR. JOSHHE: THE CLINIC WASINITIALLY STARTED HERE IN ALANG. IT WAS HAVING Merely FACILITY TO SEE PATIENTS IN THE OUTDOOR DEPARTMENT. THERE WAS NO INDOOR FACILITY.SINCE FOUR YEARS, IT HAS STARTED INDOOR FACILITIES. AND SINCE THEN, WE ARE COMING HERE EVERY WEEK. DR. JOSHHE: ALL THE LABOURERS ARE VERY FAR AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILY. SO THEY ARE VERY DEPRESSED, THEY ARE VERY STRESSED. WHILE IN ALANG, MOST OF THE TIME THE PEOPLE HAVE A SCARCITY OF LOVE, SCARCITY OF CARING ANDMONEY. SO THESE THREE FACTORS, THEY ARE CRUCIAL IN TREATING PATIENTSAT THIS PARTICULAR SPACE. NARRATOR: THERE IS NO Confederation IN ALANG. SOME WORKERS HAVETRIED TO ORGANISE ONE, BUT Most ARE TOO AFRAID. NARRATOR: IN THE END, IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY.THE SHIPYARD OWNERS SAY THEY AREHURTING. THE SHIFTING PRICE OF STEEL AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE CAN CUT PROFITS FAST. COMPETITION FROM OTHER POOR COUNTRIES HAS RAISED THE PRICE OF THESE SHIPS AND THE INTEREST ON THE LOANS THEY TAKE TO BUY THEMCAN BE CRIPPLING. SO THE UNTRAINED WORKERS ARE PUSHED TO WORKHARDER, FASTER. NARRATOR: WORK HAS JUST BEGUN ON A TANKER CALLED INVILLE, WHEN A GAS CUTTER’S SPARK HITS AN UNCLEAREDGAS LINE .[ roaring detonation][ creepy instrumental][ rhythmic music] NARRATOR: SIX Followers WERE KILLEDIN THE TANKER’ INVILLE .’ BUT OFFICIALS BARRED ACCESS TO THE SHIPYARD. THERE WAS NO SIGN OF THE WOUNDED AT THE HOSPITAL IN BHAVNAGAR. IT WAS AS THOUGH NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. JUST RUMOURS. I HAVE Realized IT ALL BEING DONE. I HAVE Met PEOPLE GETTING DROWNED. AND THEIR BODY GOES IN THE SEA. WHO’S BOTHERED? NOBODY. THERE WERE CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO WERE BROUGHT OUT IN PIECES. SO THEN THEY MAKE OUTBY THEIR SHIRTS. THEN WE KNOW. MITTU: I WILL NOT Pay UPMY LIFE FOR MY EMPLOYER. MITTU: I FEEL GUILTY WORKING, NOT STUDYING. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. I Went CAUGHT HERE. MY PARENTS HAVE ALREADY LOST ONE SON TO ALANG. WHEN I TELEPHONE THEM, THEY ASK ME ABOUT MY HEALTH. THEY Request ME TO RETURN, BUT I REFUSE. NARRATOR: Daylights AFTERTHE INVILLE EXPLOSION, AN AMERICAN-NORWEGIAN CONSORTIUM PLEDGED TO DELIVER CLEAN SHIPS TO PREVENT FUTURE ACCIDENTS.THERE IS NO STOPPING THE INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY THAT NOW COMESWITH TOXIC SHIPS. STEADY AS SHE GOES.CAPTAIN: STEADY AS SHE GOES. NARRATOR: AND THIS ONE’S A REAL PRIZE. CAPTAIN DEULKAR: THE NAME IS TULIP. IT IS AROUND 8,000 TONS. NARRATOR: THE TULIPIS REALLY A NORWEGIAN SHIP CALLED THE GERD. GREENPEACE PUT HER ON THEIR MOST TOXIC LIST BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED. SHE WAS SOLD TO LIBYA, THEN RESOLD SEVERAL TIMES.SHE FLIES A BOGUS FLAG. THE OCEAN IS FULL OF SHIPS LIKE HER. PHANTOM SHIPS, WHOSE FIRST-WORLD OWNERS CLAIM NO RESPONSIBILITY. NARRATOR: IN THE COMING YEARS, THE NUMBER OF SHIPSTO BE BROKEN WILL DOUBLE. VERY GOOD, CAPTAIN. THANK YOU. NARRATOR: YET, EXPORT OF TOXIC WASTE IS AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW. MARIETTA: WE Check THAT THE WORLD DEALS WITH DOUBLE STANDARDS. WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE HAPPY TOSEND THEIR TOXIC WASTE TO POOR COUNTRIES, BUT AT THE SAME TIMEDON’T WANT TO ACCEPT, DON’T WANT THESE TOXIC WASTE IN THEIR OWNCOUNTRIES BECAUSE THEY WANT TO PROTECT THEIR PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT, WHICH IS GOOD. BUT THEY SHOULD NOT AND I Conceive WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS DOUBLE STANDARD TO EXIST FOR LONGER.NARRATOR: DISPOSING OF THE WORLD’S TOXIC SHIPS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A SERVICE TO THE WORLD. IT SHOULD NOT BE THE SHIPBREAKERS WHO PAY THE PRICE. HARD AT STARBOARD.CAPTAIN: HARD AT STARBOARD. LET GO ANCHOR. LET GO ANCHOR, QUICKLY, CAPTIAN. RADIO: LETTING GO ANCHOR. CAPTAIN, THANK YOU, ONCE AGAIN. EXCELLENT JOB. AND I Choose YOU A VERY GOOD VACATION. CAPTAIN: OKAY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR KIND COOPERATION.[ serene instrumental throughout ]] NARRATOR: “OH, KALI, “YOUR SWORD ANNIHILATES DEMONS, “IT MAKES THE OCEAN ROAR, “YOUR DARKNESSIS THE BEAUTY, OUR BIRTH AND DEATH ARE YOURS.”[ upbeat singing throughout][ singing continues] MITTU: I DON’T Demand TO BE HERE FOREVER. I WOULD Adore TO TRAVEL AND SEE THE WORLD. I WOULD LOVE TO SAIL AWAY. FOR NOW, THE SIGHT OF THE SHIPS FILLS MY HEART WITH HAPPINESS. IT’S DHARMA. THE SHIP DIES, SO WE CAN SURVIVE.[ singing continues] — CLOSED CAPTIONS PRODUCED BY CBC, TORONTO –.

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