Ziona Chana is head of the largest family in the world, leader of a religious commune in India and, according to some, he’s God himself. Hundreds of followers pray to him and worship him as an immortal deity. RT Doc visits the polygamous “New Generation” cult he founded at the foot of the Himalayas.
In the poorest regions of India, widows are a burden. Formerly, they would be burnt alive while their husbands were cremated. Today, many widows are made to leave their families and forced to beg in the streets. Fortunately, some Hindu monasteries are able to offer shelter and hope to these betrayed women.
An estimated 290,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in 20 years. Small farms used to be the country’s economic backbone but now, owners struggle to make even a meagre profit and drown in debt. For some, the pressure is too much. Many blame GMO cotton for the failing farms, having cornered the market and replaced organic crops; they have failed to live up to expectations.
For 100 years, Jharia town in India has lived on top of a perpetually burning coal field. Once green and beautiful, the region is now scorched and barren, many houses have been devoured by the ever-growing pit, while its people are suffering from a wide range of respiratory diseases. Despite the danger, most families daren’t relocate because coal provides their only means of income.
Mica is a shiny mineral that’s all the rage in modern-day makeup, helping to give beauty products a bright gleam and natural-looking glow. This beauty, however, comes at a price that most are unaware of. Those who pay it are the poorest and the most vulnerable. RT Doc visits India’s illegal mica mines where child labour is rife.
The Indian state of Punjab is undergoing a severe water crisis. Once an agricultural leader in India, it’s now turning into a desert. Farmers and other rural dwellers are going bankrupt over the need to pay for water delivered from other regions. In this drastic situation, the number of suicides has skyrocketed, but the authorities deny that people are killing themselves over the water shortage.