Video blogger Lalji Kurmi is waiting to go viral.

It's an unusual dream for a resident of India's oldest coalfield, Jharia, where fires rage underground, bare trees stand guard morosely around mines spewing dust and fumes — and where coal has provided work for at least four generations.

Kurmi, 32, was the first in his family to get an education: a diploma in mining. Now he and many other young people in the region want to leave their soot-blighted lives behind, even as coal production soars.