"When I wake up in the morning, I feel like a normal person, but when I get up, I realize that I cannot walk properly. I feel like running but I cannot", laments Md. Manik Uddin. This isn't unique to just Manik. Many others of Tapatjuri village in Nagaon, Assam feel the same. From infants to the elderly, fluorosis has slowly but fiercely crept into the lives of the people.
This was not always so, and that is the tale of Tapatjuri.
Little known and almost ignored until it reaches dangerous levels in the body, is the condition called fluorosis. It occurs due to the excess intake of a naturally found chemical called fluoride either through water or food. Optimum levels of fluoride consumption can prevent tooth decay but an excess of it initially stains the teeth and then affects the bones. Called skeletal fluorosis, this condition can cripple a person and even result in death if left untreated. In India, the most common cause of fluorosis is the consumption of high-fluoride contaminated water extracted from deep borewells.
The film 'Tale of Tapatjuri' is an attempt to show what went wrong and how the people of the village are now coping.
This film was made with the support of the Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network.