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hindi, english, bengali
anywhere in india
I love taking portraits. To get really close to people, talk to them, and they almost always agrees to be photographed. These are some of my portrait collections taken from time to time. Subject matter varies from strangers to musicians to my mom. Felt like sharing.
Water is the most important element for life existence. Not only for humans but for any life form. We humans heavily depend on safe water in our daily lives. For a person like me, who have lived all his life in an urban environment with all the basic needs fulfilled automatically, it was hard to imagine the struggle and sufferings one could get into just to find some safe water to drink. I was fortunate enough to have worked with a non-profit organisation and with them I travelled to places where the struggle for safe water is a reality. I have spent some time in the tea-gardens of North-Bengal and some other rural part of Bengal to understand the urgency we require to act on in order to provide people with the basic needs of them all : Safe water. People in the tea gardens get supply water once a day and the storage facility is contaminated which leads to a daily dose of Diarrhoea and cholera and what not. People, I was told have to walk up to 3 hours to reach the water supply only to get contaminated water for their family. I was able to meet some of the families living there who have been suffering from water-borne diseases. Although all hope is not lost for them. There are many Non-profits working with them, trying to come up with a solution, like a low cost water purifier that can filter most of the contamination and provide safe drinkable water. Coming back to the city I live, things are not so different for the poor. Safe drinking water is hard to find if you are not spending money. There are many ways water gets contaminated in the urban. We heavily depend on the river ganga for our survival. We use it for all possible purposes and with out proper purification its highly toxic not only for humans but for all kind of aquatic animals as well. This project was done with a purpose of creating awareness towards safe water. We need to take necessary steps to ensure pure and safe water for us and our future generations.
All these photographs are taken at a place named Kharibari. I started this project with a different intention. This place is not very far geographically from New town,kolkata. But there is a huge cultural and economical difference between Rajarhat newtown and Kharibari. Recently Kharibari came to news for all the wrong reasons. A lot of political crime took place in this area. I started visiting this area with the intention to capture present political situation. When I got there, I found some huge lakes right beside the highway connecting Rajarhat and Kharibari. Later I came to know these lakes are used for commercial fishing purposes. There is approx 3000 acres of lake that is being used for fish culture. All these people in the photos are local fishermen hired for the job. There are hundreds of them. They work about 10 hours a day for approx 3 dollars/day, which is very less. But these local people have very less choice to work with and lot of other issues to deal with.
North Bengal is referred as the northern part of West Bengal, India. It consists of three districts of West Bengal as Darjeeling, Coochbihar and Jalpaiguri. Sitting in the lap of Himalaya, nurtured by the countless rivers flowing down from the mountains, this valley have mothered civilizations for hundreds of years. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with an Ngo to be able to go in these parts of the world and photograph people and their lifestyle.
Gangasagar mela is a ritualistic performance for the Hindus. Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over India gather in Sagar island, which is in the southern most part of West Bengal to take a holy bath where river Ganga meet the sea. It is in fact the second largest public gathering in the world, after Kumbh mela. As a kid growing up in an urban environment and as a science student, I always believed in facts rather than faith. So, the fact that taking a bath in some special day in some special place would wash away all your previous sins dident seem to be an exceptable fact for me. But now the question was what drives these thousands of people of all ages and genders to travel across the country every year? And there was only one way to find out.
I visited a brick factory in order to photograph life of a worker. As a documentary photographer I am always interested in peoples life. This was a part of a project where I was photographing migration and its cause and effects. What I found out was that most of these workers were not local. Like many others they came from rural areas looking for a better life. Lot of them are from Sundarban areas, who used to be farmers and their lands were taken by raising water level. Many are from distant villages of Birbhum,Bankura or Purulia or even Bihar or Jharkhand. They work in the factory for about 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. In return they are provided with little shacks by the factory and about 100 dollars a month. Children and woman are also put to work to the best of their ability, as a result those children are deprived of education. I could stay in there for a brief amount of time as the supervisor dident let me stay any longer.
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