27 February, 2021

The People Of The Fallout

In Khetolai, the village closest to the Pokhran nuclear test site, cancer is felling people and cattle. No one cares.

The People Of The Fallout

Radiation Village?

  • Khetolai is the village lying closest to the Pokhran nuclear test site
  • Villagers, mostly Bishnois, say there are many cases of cancer in the area. Exposure to radiation from the blasts is an obvious inference to make.
  • Many, including children, have died of cancer. Women speak of high incidence of breast cancer. Children are showing development problems.
  • Even cattle aren’t spared. Cows develop strange tumours and rashes.
  • Govt hasn’t cared to conduct studies in the region or provide succour


“The army jeeps, the fatigues, the big trucks—these things always fascinated Neeraj,” says Ashok Bishnoi, a school teacher, in Khetolai, the village nearest to Pokhran, Rajasthan, where India has conducted nuclear test explosions. He is speaking of an 11-year-old boy who succumbed to cancer on February 15. “He wanted to become a soldier,”...

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