Coronavirus: UAE-based photographer clicks masks, gloves dumped on streets
Masks and gloves are increasingly becoming common street trash.
Covid-19 has impacted lives around the world. For Vidhyaa Chandramohan, a documentary photographer based in Abu Dhabi, the effect of the pandemic on the environment is unmissable.
"Personal protective equipment (PPE) keep humans safe, but it is proving destructive to the environment. Masks and gloves are increasingly becoming common street trash," said Vidhyaa, who has been documenting mask and gloves being dumped in the streets of Abu Dhabi.
"It caught my attention amid my daily walk. My aim is to raise awareness about the need to dispose of masks and gloves in an appropriate manner and in the designated areas. Otherwise, it is worsening the problem and even possibly spreading Covid-19 to those who pick this trash," she said.
Vidhyaa says working as a documentary photographer comes with a certain responsibility. "Whenever I see these littered masks and gloves, I feel that we are giving another piece of trash to our environment. Though Abu Dhabi has imposed fine of Dh1,000, people are still disposing of the PPEs irresponsibly."
What is a public health crisis and street trash today will slowly become the plastic pollution crisis, cautioned Vidhyaa. "This is not only a health hazard; it harms the environment in deeper ways. "Risk of spreading coronavirus from discarded masks is very minimal but these masks and gloves cannot be recycled, which create problems for the environment. Each individual may think that someone will pick the trash - like plastic covers, material, bottles. But these will end up in the ocean and be mistaken for food by animals, which is an alarming risk for marine ecosystems," said Vidhyaa.
"Public awareness will help bring some light to this area. There is no better way to tell the impact of Covid-19 on the environment than through photography," she added.
Her works have been exhibited and published in Vogue Arabia, Wired Arabia, UN Women UAE, FDR Park at New York, and Gallery RIVAA. Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association, Getty Images London, Gulf Photo Plus Community Exhibition among others.
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