Kolkata's dirty secret: Life along busy railroad tracks
The Dhakuria Railway Colony is the most dangerous place I've ever set foot in since the beginning of my photographic explorations of India. Trains speed through the colony, sometimes just mere inches from people's homes and makeshift shops. To make matters even more hazardous, the sanitation is miserable and people cook, clean their clothes and bodies, not far from their de facto toilets. It makes traversing the length of the colony tricky and it turns out that the tracks themselves is the most convenient way to walk through. I don't think the majority of Kolkata citizens are aware of this place's existence or pay it too much attention. Unless you happen to be looking over the Dhakuria Bridge - a death trap waiting to happen - then it's very difficult to see the place at all. But there are hundreds of people who call this place home, including many children and elderly.
No. This isn't a refugee camp. This is Dhakuria Railway Colony. It's something so dystopian that science fiction writers wouldn't want to write about it because it's too depressing, too real. The analogies only get worse from here.