Ramila Malsingh is not yet into her 30s. But her skinny frame, drooping shoulders and pallid complexion gives her the look of an aged woman, managing to barely walk a few steps before stopping to regain her breath.
But Ramila is considered “lucky” in her village Kachaldhara in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua, a highly drought-prone district dotted with degraded wastelands and home to several tribal communities of the state.
A widow and mother of two, Ramila is among the only eight people in the Bhilala tribal village who are surviving despite suffering from silicosis, a health condition marked by inflammation and scarring of lungs due to prolonged exposure to fine silica dust. Read more