“For as long as I can remember, mother never took a day off. Father slept all day and got drunk and beat her at night, but she would be back in the fields the next morning.”
Jagyani Sravanthi’s mother Gongalla Vijaya, a farmer, killed herself in December 2016 in Ramnagar Thanda near Jangalapally in Telangana’s Jayashankar Bhupalapally district. Telangana recorded the largest number of suicides among women farmers in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau of India. Data for 2016 is still awaited.
From a recent assignment for OPEN magazine, working on an issue extremely close to my heart- India’s agrarian crisis. Please read the story by V Shoba here.
In January this year, I had travelled to Amritsar, Punjab on assignment for Explore Parts Unknown, a new venture by the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, Roads and Kingdoms and CNN, to photograph the city’s attractions and great food.
Eat ghee, find God. Spend the perfect day in Amritsar.
On a November night when thousands of couples tied the knot and traffic choked the roads of Delhi, I struggled to keep up with this group of cow vigilantes as they ran recklessly through the traffic to stop and inspect any vehicle they suspected of smuggling cows. The story, for the German youth magazine NEON, also took Fiona Weber-Steinhaus and me to different parts of Haryana with a brief detour to Himachal Pradesh for a cup of chai in the middle of the night.
The drought of 1972 is a reference point to calculate the age of Vyjayanta Ithape, 70, who gave birth to a son and had also lost her husband that year. Chincholi in Beed, Maharashtra, where she lives alone, has been relying on water tankers for the past three years, even during the monsoon.”This one is unlike any other drought in the past, we have grain to eat but no water to drink.” March 21, 2016.
I’m stoked to received an honourable mention at the Imagely Fund 2016 for my work on the drought in the Marathwada region of India. The series is part of Raiyatnama, a longer project documenting agrarian crises and rural distress in various parts of India.