Jharkhand: Model catwalks on garbage dump to highlight life near landfill – The New Indian Express

The fashion shoot video went viral on social media, attracting the attention of several international celebrities and activists working on climate change
Published: 31st August 2021 08:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2021 06:46 PM   |  A+A-
The motive was to bring the issue to the notice of the people and the authorities in India and abroad, said the fashion photographer Pranjal Kumar. (Photo | EPS)
RANCHI: A class XII student, who does modeling as a hobby, has won the hearts of the people worldwide by cat-walking on thousands of tons of garbage at a dumping yard on the outskirts of Ranchi to bring forward the problems being faced by the people living in the surroundings. 
According to the architect-turned fashion photographer Pranjal Kumar, had photographs of the dumping yard been uploaded simply on social media, it would not have fulfilled the purpose, but since fashion quotient was added to it, the video became viral on social media and was appreciated by several renowned environmentalists worldwide.
Pranjal said that in order to grab the attraction of the authorities and environmentalists, he thought why not do a fashion shoot on the garbage dump which is impossible to cross without covering one’s nose and mouth. He chose a red outfit for the model just to alert the authorities that it is going to be a very serious matter if not attended on time.
“Motive was not only to bring the issue into the notice of the people and the authorities but also to grab the attention of environmentalists at international level so that the issue of climate changes could be raised and instigate a discussion in this regard,” said the fashion photographer Pranjal Kumar. It has grabbed the attention of more than 35,000 people, which also includes international celebrities, social activists, and people working on the issue of climatic change, he added.
“They not only appreciated it but also shared it saying that we have done something out of the box,” said the fashion photographer. Before approaching Pranjal Surabhi Singh, he tried several other models but most of them refused to say that it is impossible to walk on this garbage dump, but Surbhi was the only model who replied boldly saying that she is excited to do the shoot as it would be a great experience for her to do it on a garbage dump, he added.
Pranjal further added that being a photographer, he had the only potential to do something that the message is conveyed among the people utilizing his strong points that such a massive dump yard is being developed beside Ranchi city, which could not be ignored as it would pose a threat on their human lives living in the region in the days to come.
“We have fulfilled our responsibility and now it is for the government to look into the matter,” said Pranjal. Despite the fact that the area outside the ring road has been declared greenfield, it has been converted into a garbage dump yard, he added.
Pranjal further added that something impossible has been done and hence people are compelled to pause and think over it. He is so satisfied with his work that he has sent these photographs for Environmental Photographer of the Year completion which showcases the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world.
 “Out of 7000 entries from 119 Countries, one entry belongs to me,” said Pranjal Surabhi Singh, 18, who said that it was really tough to shoot on that location as it was filthy garbage all along filled with medical wasted and animal carcasses.
“Since I also work on social issues, I never gave a second thought when the concept was explained to me and agreed to do it as it was for a good cause. While shooting, I felt very bad to see that the dead animals and several tones of medical waste were also lying in the open along with domestic waste which could lead Ranchi into danger in the days to come,” said the model. It was really miserable to walk on the garbage dump as there were small germs and insects all around which caused an infection on her skin due to which she had to see a doctor after the shoot, she added.
The young model has also had several upcoming projects in the pipeline like – ‘Fashion for a Good Change’ and ‘Nari’ where she will be raising the issues of social change and female abuse through fashion photography. It could have been gone unnoticed if only photographs of the dump yard would have been uploaded on social media, but since the fashion quotient was added into it was noticed worldwide, she said.
Surabhi will also be representing Jharkhand in Miss Teen Diva this year. 
According to an estimate, about 2 lakh tonnes of garbage collected from all over Ranchi is dumped in the Jhiri garbage dump yard for the last 10 years which has made the lives hell for about 10,000 people living in the region. People are falling sick due to the pollution generated by the garbage dump.
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