India is one of the largest exporters of leather worldwide. In Kanpur, the fifth-largest city of India, there are more than 350 tanneries which dispose of their poisonous sewage water directly into the Ganga River.
When visiting Kanpur for the first time, I was shocked by the suffering of the people living and working there. Many children are working illegally in the tanneries, even though child labour under 18 years is forbidden by the government. Spending their lives in toxic and harmful environment, they earn 60 Indian Rupees (1 Euro) per day. They are suffering from symptoms of contamination by chemicals used inside the tanneries like respiratory problems, malnutrition and gastrointestinal diseases.