"Monsoon of death" is a visual reportage about one of the most under-reported hyperendemic medical emergency of India that is claiming hundreds of innocent lives annually.
Every monsoon, some thousands of children of different states of India become victims of Acute Encephalitic Syndrome (AES). AES is a group of clinical neurologic manifestation caused by wide range of viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemical and toxins. It is significantly linked to contaminated water, improper sanitation and unhygienic habitation. Monsoon makes this condition more vulnerable every year. The disease is mostly affecting children up to age group of 15 with high mortality rate or leaves them with permanent neuropsychiatric disabilities.
Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh and its surrounding areas are one of the worst affected zones by AES every monsoon. Baba Raghab Das Medical College & Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur alone gets more than thousand of AES cases every year and witnesses nearly 700 child deaths in every monsoon. It is the only medical institute with a dedicated epidemic ward that caters the endemic victims of 19 districts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and also bordering areas of Nepal.
A disease that is cent percent preventable with basic access to clean water and proper sanitation, has claimed more than 10,000 innocent lives only in Uttar Pradesh since 1978.
Sincere gratitude: Rajinder Arora, Ishtihaar
[Published as featured photo-story by 'Down To Earth' magazine. Also featured by SocialDocumentary.net and Photojournale].