“Since my mother died everything has changed to the worse. If it wasn't for my two small children, I would have committed suicide a long time ago. These damn drugs, this damn medicine…”, told me Fakir, crying about his loss and life, sitting lonely in his small room of the family’s house. The plastic tube which entangled his arm tight, making the injecting easier for him, seemed like an allegory for his life, a life in stagnation, being stuck – Phas Gaya.
India, also known as the pharmacy of the Third World, is one of the biggest producers of generic drugs worldwide. The vast variety of up to standard and most importantly affordable pharmaceuticals gives millions of people the chance to treat their illnesses. But the lack of trade monitoring, the constantly increasing amount of producers, the cover-up through corruption and the ignorance and greed of the pharmacists have also gotten these medicines, meant to heal, to help people, into the wrong hands.
Since almost two years I document the reasons and consequences of pharmaceutical abuse in India, with a special focus on an area in the outskirts of New Delhi. This new kind of drug abuse is related to the constantly increasing production of generic drugs in India - like an iceberg floating in a hot ocean, not meant for each other yet if brought together, so dangerous. Underestimated and widely underreported, it deserves attention on a level far beyond of what has been told so far.
What I experienced during my time was more heart-breaking than anything that I had seen or even imagined before and left me with a lot of unanswered questions. These questions and the people concerned are the reason why I couldn’t and still can’t stop visiting the area on a regular basis. As a photographer and a human being I owe this duty to the people who allowed me entering their world, sharing their small and big worries in life. I have to tell this story of pharmaceutical abuse and its victims, of lives being stuck – Phas Gaya.
To license this work for editorial, creative, or other uses, click on the OZMO logo above.
This will take you to the Ozmo website where you can review the cost and license for the photographs in this exhibit.
You will need to create an account with both Amazon payments and with the Ozmo website as described on the Ozmo website.
Delhi based NGOs:
+91 - 8860218938