16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

Hazaribagh, known as the "city of a thousand gardens", on the outskirts of Dhaka, is one of the most polluted areas of the planet. Twenty thousand cubic meters of poison flow every day from here into the maze of waterways that quench the country. Here, since always, the most precious leathers in the world are being produced. The most wanted and at the same time the most hated. Saeful, 20, works the leather, dipped down till his ankles in the tannery pits, since he was 11. It's the first working process of the raw leather, called "Wet Blue". This is one of the 250 tanneries that dominate the neighborhood. Under the metal roofing sheet temperatures reach up to 50 degrees celsius. And in this hell, infested by the stench of the rotting organic residues, hundreds of souls work forgetting about the asthma, the burns or skin irritations, that come along with this work. "The acid doesn't matter, says Saeful, when I'm hungry I need to eat".

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Mauro De Bettio