Life in brick field

Every third citizen of India is a migrant. Among them are the people, including children, who come from Jharkhand and Bihar, Odissa to work in West Bengal’s brick fields. These families are forced to migrate for earning due to a lack of jobs. With the
breakdown of extended family networks, children have to accompany their parents more often. In the brick kiln market, brokers adjust the demand and supply of labour. They recruit seasonal labourers outside of the labour market from their own native villages, where they have good
relations with their family members and others in the neighbourhood. They give advances to the labourers who are to be recruited. Once the labourer receives the advance, he pledges his labour and must then work to repay his debt. According to many labours in this field, they come
here not only by force, mainly financial crisis insist them to earn better amount, because in their region they earn 70-80 rupees per day as a daily wage, but here in West bengal’s brick field they get better amount than their places which is near about 100-150 rupees per day. After
completion of the season i.e. before starting monsoon they go back to their own village and found anyother job to maintain their daily life. After September or October they come back again to their contracted brick kiln. From the beginning of winter to summer, the entire season they pay
service in brick field. Some labour come along with family member and some come alone.

Life in Brick field

Work begins from early morning

Life in Brick field

Labors accumulating soft soils, the key material of brick. It contains palluvial soil which sticky in nature and become hard, tighter while exposed to heat.

Life in Brick field

Rahmat, who came along with his family from Jharkhand, is servicing in a brick field of North 24 paraganas of West Bengal as a brick making labor since 2009. During the work schedule he gives time to his eight month old son

Life in Brick field

A girl child is giving shape the soft soil as a brick

Life in Brick field

Soft bricks made have exposed on open ground to be burnt with the solar heat. It makes the brick rigid.


Temporary shelters made of sun burnt bricks by the labors their for babies, so that mother can look after her infant even during the working time.

Life in Brick field

She is Sonam who came from Bihar, along with her parents to the brick field where she is working from last three year.


Working hand of a boy who prepares soft bricks and it is done with naked hand. Any labor in the brick yard is not provided any protecting gear like gloves, shoe, musk.

Life in Brick field

A child is taking nap beside the behind a series of soft brick, which can be risky at any time.


Often  coal, the fuel of brick kiln, is crushed with grinder machine, but during power cut it has to do manually.

Life in Brick field

Coal is getting collected to be poured down into the brick kiln.

Life in Brick field

Subas Das poses for a photograph. He is from Sunderban, the southern most part of West Bengal. After completion of this session he goes back to his village and do job there as a  ffsherman. This is the way of Subas’s earning.

Life in Brick field

Completely burnt bricks are getting collected by Basanti, a girl child who came from Odissa along with his elder brother, from brick kiln.

Life in Brick field

Coloured tokens have set up to count each labor’s brick collection of each day. Every colored token has different value.  Green tokens are set for soft  bricks, red and blue tokens are for aflammed bricks. At the end of the week incharge of labors count it as a whole and make the payment end of the day. Some labors receive at the end of week.


Burnt bricks are getting collected from cool down brick kiln. Labors do it in naked hand. Any protecting gear like musk, gloves, shoe are not provided to them and they are used to with these unhygienic practices .


Radha, from Bihar, is working in brick field since 2012. In this work field she had to come along with his parents due to huge debt made by her father for an accidental case. Before that Radha’s father and elder brother were the source of income in their family. Now four of them including her mother serving in brick field. Radha and her elder brother carry burnt brick and parents make soft bricks and this policy made by field incharge in accordance of their age.

Life in Brick field

Poonam , an eleven years old girl from Odissa, is collecting the burnt bricks from the brick yard. Any protecting gear like musk, gloves or shoes are not provided to labors. They are continuing work in this unhygienic manner which is harmful in anyway.

Life in Brick field

Sumita, mother of six years old Kumari, is taking care of her daughter who was suffering from bronchitis. As it is a no work no pay job, so maximum time they do not take leave except some critical or emergency cases. She takes leave for few minutes to look after her daughter, Kumari.

Life in Brick field

Suraj, a sixteen years old boy poses for a photograph.

Life in Brick field

After taking bath in nearby pond labor put his wet clothes on series of dumped burnt bricks to make them dry.


A labor is cooking for his family while his wife is busy to feed their kid. After having lunch they will resume their second session of work.


A family, from interior of Jharkhand district of India, is having lunch in a shanty provided by authority for their livinga during the work season. After lunch second session of their work resume.


Burnt bricks are getting collected from cool down brick kiln. Labors do it in naked hand. Any protecting gear like musk, gloves, shoe are not provided to them and they are used to with these unhygienic practices .


Usable bricks are carried by brick labor.  Young, adult labors try to carry more loads during this session and it is like a race among them, they enjoy it. More the load, more the collection of red token, more the opportunity to earn money.


Palm of a labor who collects bricks from brick kiln. Any protecting gear like musk, gloves, shoe are not provided to them and they are used to with these unhygienic practices .

Life in Brick field

Damaged burnt bricks are  getting dumped by the side of brick fields. These damaged pieces are not used in construction purpose directly but used for making concrete by crushing into smaller pieces. So these are not get mixed with normal bricks. Both have different sales value.

Life in Brick field

After completion of burnt brick collection, ashes, the by products of burnt bricks are get collected from the ground of brick kiln and set free for the next round. Entire procedure goes on without providing any protecting gear like gloves, shoe, musk and the workers like used to with this unhygienic practices which is harmful for their skin, lungs and stomach too.


Kid is making fun with his hand made swing that is made up of clothes bind with handles of cart which is used for carrying mud, soil, soft bricks.


Shobhita, ten year old child from Odissa, posed for a photograph with her priceless smile.


Sadhan Mahato, from Jharkhand, posed for photography after end of his session. Before brick field Sadhan was a worker of power plant where an accident happened with him. The accident causes the change his superficial area. So he had to quit that job, specially on the request of his newly wedded wife, because he was admitted in hospital for more than a month then. After three months of rest he started his work life in brick field where hazards are bit less than a power plant, Sadhan Mahato added.


Balchandra Bharadwaj, from Uttarpradesh, the supervisior of brick kiln, is setting up pit where burning will take place.


Lid of pits have opened to pour coal that blaze the under ground. One third of the kiln burns in continuous process and other part from it burnt bricks get collected. This process continues entire the season.

Life in Brick field

Workers collecting burnt bricks from brick yard. Work goes on till sunset.


Sun burnt bricks are setting up for the final round of burning on the other side of brick kiln. Work goes on till sunset.


Workers collecting burnt bricks from brick yard.

Life in Brick field

Ramcharan who is giving service in the brick field when he was sixteen years old, till date he is servicing the same, is from Odissa.

Life in Brick field

An elderly worker is setting free the brick yard at the end of the day.


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