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A family of coal-scavengers sit outside their home in the late afternoon. Toxic gasses permeate the air, and many of the eighty thousand people who live in the area suffer from chronic respiratory and skin problems but are financially unable to seek medical care. They are typical of small communities of people who make a precarious living scavenging coal and selling the charcoal and coke they make from it. Below ground permanent fires burn, fuelled by seams of coal. The ground can be too hot to walk on and there is an ever present danger that houses will collapse into the vast underground caverns that are left unfilled after mining operations have ended.