A little girl sleeps on her sister’s lap in a village in Jharia, Jharkhand. Their parents are coal pickers.
An underground fire has been burning in Jharia for the last hundred years or so. The heat makes it almost unbearable to live in the region. Efforts to stop the fire have been in vain. That fire has now spread overground. The CPM recently told the 14th Finance Commission that the fire in the Jharia coalfields of Dhanbad should be considered a ‘national disaster’.
Once a Double Niner, always a Double Niner. So say soldiers of the 99th Field Regiment of the Indian Army, which was awarded the title ‘Sylhet’ for its gallantry in the 1971 War for the liberation of Bangladesh. First raised in Aurangabad as the 99th Mountain Composite Regiment (Towed) on 15 April 1964, it is remembered for its role in obtaining the surrender of Pakistani forces after a 25-day gun battle during the war. As this 20-minute documentary shows, the Double Niners were masters of tactical manoeuvres, a tradition they still try their utmost to uphold.