Monthly Archives: June 2019

In Photos – Children In Search Of Water II

The water crisis is looming large over India with Chennai becoming the first Indian city “to have gone dry”. This drought-like situation is not only affecting people’s health but is also keeping children away from school. Children stand in long queues to find pumps that provide potable water, have no option but to use unclean and stinky toilets because of extreme water scarcity and need to skip school to lend a helping hand to go fetch water. This crisis has hit both the rich and poor alike, where schools are now asking children to get their own water from home.

While this is not a new phenomenon in India, the clock is ticking, and people across the country are in danger of survival and access to their most basic necessity, including millions of children. While Leonardo DiCaprio, the most vocal celebrity environmentalist spoke about the grave situation in Chennai, on his Instagram account, drawing attention to a global audience, a lot remains to be done. 

Here are some images from across the country that depict the drudgery that some children have to go through on a daily basis just to drink a few drops of water…

For children across India, extreme climate changes and drought, makes access to a few sips of clean drinking water a luxury

Photo : Unknown

A young boy shows water remaining in a container at his family home in Salegaon village in Beed.

Photo : Thomson Reuters Foundation/ Roli Srivastav

Children wait to fetch potable water at Nayandahalli, which gets supply once a week. Meanwhile, their education takes a backseat as many of them  skip classes to fetch water.

A girl walks carrying drinking water at a slum in Mumbai. India is facing a 43% deficiency on monsoon rains across the country by its late arrival, according to India Meteorological Department. 

Photo : Rafiq Maqbool

In Marathwada, drought has gone on for so long that farmers and their children have ‘stopped expecting a decent life’.

Photo : Scroll

As the water crisis reaches epidemic levels, children are left with no choice but to partake in fetching water from far off places.

Photo : Unknown

With the country’s ground water supply being overused, children have to struggle for even a few drops of drinking water.

Photo- Samir Jana/ HT

The widespread lack of clean water is a growing crisis affecting millions of families and children in India that we can’t ignore anymore.

Photo credit : Giacomo Pirozzi, UNICEF

Everyday India’s Instagram Collective Tells Stories Of India’s Children Going To School

“You have to stay in school. You have to. You have to go to college. You have to get your degree. Because that’s the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education. And it is worth the investment,” said Michelle Obama, resonating with children and parents, as they make their way to school in the new year. 

Down the hill and across sprawling tea estates, under a tree shed and in dilapidated classrooms, in conflict regions and along the riverside, children go to great lengths to make it to school… only to be able to wear new uniforms, buy new books and school supplies, meet their friends and teachers, play at recess time, study their favourite subject, and head back home after a fulfilling day of learning at school.

Everyday India, a collective of storytellers chronicling the everyday lives of people across India, narrate stories of children going to school, providing a compelling chronicle on why education matters. 

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Photo by @arjunchhabra for #EverydayIndia School children play at a pandal being constructed on the occasion of Durga Puja in #Ranchi, #Jharkhand, #India. The annual Hindu festival of Durga Puja is observed with much fanfare for five days in Bengal and Eastern India. The idol of Goddess Durga is worshipped during the festivities and traditionally the process of idol making commences during Rath Yatra (during July/August). By Shashti, the sixth day of the festival, the idols are transported by the artisans to various destinations where they are mounted on a podium inside a pandal (a temporary marquee) where the goddess is worshipped for five days. #EverydayEverywhere #DailyLife #Photojournalism #ReportageSpotlight #Instagram

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Photo by @nishallama Photo of a school going boy in a Government run Tea Garden in Assam. He is among the dwindling few who travels long distances to attend High School. According to the Law, there is provision for only Primary School, till the 5th Grade in Tea Gardens. However, for someone willing to pursue anything higher, they have to travel long distances, which for some can be as far as 10-15 kilometers, or even more. Hence, there is a huge drop out rate amongst students from these Tea Gardens. The connectivity in these places is deplorable, and the Tea Gardens don’t provide transportation. In many cases, Teachers in the Primary level, too, are not well trained. So students bear the burnt as they are often ill equipped to deal with the high school curriculum. #everydayindia #teagardens #assam #dailylifeindia #everydayeverywhere #india #education #tea #documentaryphotography

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Parents and siblings wait outside an ‘Anganwadi’ centre in Samastipur, Bihar. An Anganwadi is a type of rural mother and child care centre started by the Indian government in 1985 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program to combat child hunger and malnutrition. A typical Anganwadi centre provides basic health care along with pre-school activities in Indian villages. The responsibilities of Anganwadi workers are extremely significant. From providing pre-school education to ensuring antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women to supervising the distribution of supplement nutrition and administering immunisation to children under 6. As I see it, Anganwadi workers receive a salary of INR 3,000 per month (USD 45) which they receive every couple of months. On the other hand the assistant staff to the Anganwadi workers receive a monthly salary of INR 1,500 per month (USD 22) which they have not received in over 9 months in the area. The irregular income flow is not just demoralising but also affects their livelihood. Anganwadi workers don’t just work tirelessly to ensure village children come to their centres, they go door to door to check on health and well being of new born and their mothers, they immunise, they feed and provide almost any possible care in their reach. In addition, the assistant staff cook midday meals, clean, wash up after the children, and often bring them from their homes to the centre. Certain months, the Anganwadi centres do not receive funds from the government to provide midday meals to the children. Midday meals are perhaps the biggest motivator for parents to send their children to the Anganwadi centre as one nutritious meal taken care of lessens the burden on them. Photo by: @mansimidha #nofilter #onassignment #realitycheck #ruralindia #indiangovernment #india #governmentofindia #igasia #igindia #igtravel #anganwadi #education #everydayeverywhere #bihar #everydayindia #dailylifeindia #instagram #instapic #instagramhub #classroom #reportagespotlight #iphone #mansimidha

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The Rural Life. A group of Girl friends walk home together after School in the evening.With Heavy monsoon rains causing water in river Ganga to swell many parts of the Diara region is flooded.The swollen river water has displaced many in the villages.The continuous rise in the water level has forced the locals to pack their belongings and move to higher safer places.Wooden boats start appearing on the roadside parked near dry land.The only way to travel is through boats to reach the villages on the Ganga belt. Photo By: Chetan Kumar/ @chetankumarstudio #Asia #India #Bihar #Biharodyssey #storyteller #Documentary #photojournalism #dailylife #reportage #Reportagespotlight #everydayasia #iphoneography #everydayindia #ganga #river #flood #girls #school #education #climate #monsoon #enviroment

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Do you have photos of children going to school? Tag us at #everydaychildhood, we’d love to feature your stories. 

 

Chasing The Clouds – India’s Children & Their Interplay With Monsoon

The vagaries of India’s monsoon, are known to all its people, especially its children. For some it is a signal that summer holidays are coming to an end, and the new year at school is round the corner. For others it means playgrounds turned into puddles, time for paper boats, colourful umbrellas, raincoats, gumboots, and cricket in the rain. And for many others it means the washing away of their homes, taking shelter at a railway station, on a skywalk or a bus shelter, braving the rain under leaky thatched roofs and chasing the clouds elsewhere.

We bring to you images from different parts of India that capture the joy and jubilance of monsoon juxtaposed against the stark realities that exist for children during this time.

MONSOON IS A TIME FOR CHILDREN WHERE PLAYGROUNDS TURN INTO PUDDLES

Photo – Unknown

AND PUDDLES TURN INTO PLAYGROUNDS

Photo – Unknown

WHERE TARPULIN SHEETS MAKE FOR RAIN COVER

Photo – PTI

AND DISCARDED AUTOS BECOME PLAY THINGS

Photo – First Post

WHERE WATER-LOGGED STREETS MAKE FOR LARGE GATHERINGS

Photo – Deccan Herald

AND FLOODED STREETS ACT AS SWIMMING POOLS

Photo – North Coast Courier

WHERE THE ONLY COLOUR ON A DULL DAY IS OF AN UMBRELLA

Photo – Marina Shakleina

AND YOUR ONLY RESPITE IN ON THE BACK OF A SIBLING

Photo – Satyam Roy

WHEN THE FEELING OF RAIN DROPS OF YOUR FACE MEANS SHEER JOY

Photo – Arun Sharma (Getty Images)

BUT WALKING TO SCHOOL IS AN UNPREDICTABLE JOURNEY

Photo – Hindustan Times

WHEN AN UMBRELLA BECOMES A PERMANENT HAND FIXTURE

Photo – Rajagopalan Sarangapani

AND MAKING PAPERBOATS BECOMES THE GAME OF THE SEASON

Photo – Naveen Prasad

WHEN OVERFLOWING BACKYARDS MEANS SWIM TIME 

Photo – Unknown

AND WORKING FOR A LIVING BECOMES OVERTIME

Photo – Unknown

WHEN WADING THROUGH THE WATER EACH DAY BECOMES TRECHEROUS 

Photo – DNA

AND BOATS BECOME A COMMON MEANS OF TRANSPORT

Photo – Unknown

WHEN RAINS REACH CATASROPHIC LEVELS AND HOME GET WASHED AWAY

Photo – Deccan Chronicle

AND ACCESS TO FOOD AND CLEAN WATER BECOMES DIFFICULT

Photo – Unknown

WHEN SCHOOL REMAINS SHUT DOWN

Photo – Unknown

YOU KNOW MONSOON DAYS ARE HERE TO STAY!

Photo – Unknown

#WorldRefugeeDay – HeartBreaking Stories Of Refugee Children Through Dar Yasin’s Lens

One of the world’s largest developing refugee emergencies is at Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, with children at the heart of it, 60% of the total count. But beyond the large numbers of children are their heartbreaking stories, of loss, suffering, violence, torture and rape, being narrated by scores of journalists who poured into Bangladesh’s Southeast refugee camp. 

“That entire boatload of people will haunt me always. That image of Hanida and that hour with those refugees still gives me goosebumps. To flee from mindless violence, to seek safety in a boat, to have the boat capsize and then to mourn one child and be thankful, at the same time, that at least one child is still with you. This image, for me, is the price I pay to bear witness to a human condition that has always existed: persecution and fleeing and never belonging,” writes Dar Yasin in his piece for TIME, “These People Don’t Have Time To Mourn”. 

This #WorldRefugeeDay, here are photos of the tragic Rohingya exodus through Dar Yasin’s lens, that act as a reminder of the catastrophic childhoods of millions of children who are still living as refugees. 

Read our blog ‘7 Instagram Accounts That Will Make You Look At The Rohingya Crisis Through A Child’s Eyes’.

 

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Rohingya Children. Children make up about 60 per cent of more than 420,000 people who have poured in to Bangladesh over the last four weeks — Rohingya Muslims fleeing terrible persecution in Burma.They have seen family members killed and homes set on fire. They have known fear and terror. And they have endured dangerous journeys through forests and on rickety boats.Sometimes they’ve done it alone. UNICEF has so far counted more than 1,400 children who have crossed the border with neither parent.Now they’ve traded the fear and terror of Burma’s northern Rakhine state for the chaos of refugee camps in Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of strangers live cheek by jowl in normally uninhabitable places that are hardly the safe havens to nurture a childhood.Burma#Mayanmar#Bangladesh#children#refugee#persecution#killing#genocide#camps#risk#

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Rohingya cry for 'motherland' at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. The young Rohingya Muslim boy recites verses from the Quran in a small, crowded tent that serves as a madrasa in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Then Sheikh Ahmad lifts his hands in prayer and the tears begin to flow. He prays for those killed in the violence that his family escaped, among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh over the past month. Back in his family's tiny shanty, he plays with his sisters. When i asked him why he wept, and the tears seep through again. "I'm crying for my motherland,he said.#Burma#Mayanmar#Bangladesh#children#refugee#persecution#killing#genocide#camps#risk#cry#motherland#

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Dar Yasin is a Pulitzer Grantee and Associated Press photojournalist based in Indian Kashmir.

#WorldDayAgainstChildLbour – Ravi Mishra’s Depiction Of Child Labourers In Mica Mines of Jharkhand & Bihar

India is one of the largest producers of mica in the world, accounting for about 60% of its global production. The majority of mica mines are concentrated in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar, where a significant population lives in extreme poverty, turning to the mining industry for a living.

Known as the makeup industry’s darkest kept secret, mica also finds usage as insulators in the electrical industry, car paints in the automobile industry, and is associated with popular global brands and companies.

The once flourishing mica industry in India was hit by the 1980 legislation to limit deforestation, forcing most mines to close with the implementation of strict environmental guidelines. But, the rising demand for mica from various industries gave rise to illegal mines mushrooming in the country, as a result, poor families and their children had no choice but to continue working in crumbling mines. Children in particular became a common feature across mining sites as their small stature and nimble fingers made entering mine shafts, easier, and sorting small pieces of mica, faster.

Ravi Mishra, an aspiring visual activist, working on human rights, women and environment issues, and the ambassador for The People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, set out to open this can of worms, through his photo stories. Ravi’s work in mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar throw light on the adverse effects of mining on the lives of children. From the dangers of working in unauthorized and unregulated mines, the long-term health hazards, to the consequences of staying out of school, these photos place a question on the extent of the problem, no many are willing to answer.

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India is one of the largest producers of mica in the world which is a naturally occurring group of silicate minerals. An attractive feature of the silver coloured, crystalline mineral is that it has gained prominence as “environment-friendly”. Jharkhand and Bihar are the two Indian states that account for nearly 25% of its global production. Because of its unique lustre, mica finds wide usage in the cosmetic industry, as insulators in the electrical industry and is also used in car paints in the automobile industry and is associated with popular brands like L'Oréal, BMW, Revlon, Merck etc. The once flourishing mica industry in India was hit by the 1980 legislation to limit deforestation forcing most mines to close to cost and strict environmental rules. But, there was more than enough stock and much more demand that gave rise to illegal mines mushrooming in the country. From here, starts a string of actions which portrays a dark reality. Investigations have revealed that currently almost 20,000 children are involved in mining the glittery mineral all across the country. Everything is done off the official radar and literally ‘underground’ because of the illegal existence of mines. Children as young as 5 not only risk their health in the abandoned “ghost mines”, but also get burried and die in the crumbling dark dungeons. Somewhere around 5 to 10 children die in the mica belt of Koderma, Giridih, Jhumri Telaiya, Hazaribagh, Gaya ( East Jharkhand and Bihar) every month and on top of it, 90% deaths are never reported because of the uninvited attention they might bring. In this series of photos from my work in the mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar, I will be throwing light on more stories people, child labour and the conditions that prevail due to the unauthorised mines. This photo story is in collaboration with the organisation I represent People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), PVCHR has been working in the region providing support to the affected people by providing basic education to children and vocational training to women of the region. Photo: @ravimishraindia Text: Deepali #everydayindia #life #India #Asia #PVCHR #childlabour

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The mica belt of Jharkhand and Bihar has a good supply of operational requisites like electricity, infrastructure, market, connectivity and human resource due to its proximity to the Damodar river. The quality of mineral here is high, there is abundant demand and the mines are easily accessible. But, there is lack of technology and regulations in the entire process of mica mining which is sadly the only means of livelihood for majority of the poor population. Because of improper education people are unaware of the utility and global rates of mica and they end up receiving as low as ₹80 (nearly 1 USD) for separating and carrying 10kg of the mineral to the collection point. Illegal production accounts for a massive discrepancy. In 2015, India officially produced 19,000 tonnes of mica, but it exported 1,40,000 tonnes. The overseas deals are mostly conducted on mobile phones leaving no paper trail. Currently, China is the biggest importer of mica from India because of its increasing consumerism along with Japan, the U.S.A etc. There are subcontractors and suppliers in each village who rely on the poor, to start with. Truckloads of collected mica are stealthily transported to adjoining places like Domchanch and Jhumri Telaiya in Jharkhand where mica flex is bought by freelance agents and then sold to middlemen for being cut, refined and sorted. Freelance miners, including young children who have no information about where the mica they mine would end up while working in the makeshift underground holes are the third and the fourth layer in the complex supply chain of the illegal process. Finally, skilled men carefully cut and cleave the transparent mica sheets with knives and scissors which are then separated as per their quality and demand. The profits are made off the backs of children who, sometimes, don't even know the name of the mineral in their hand. But ultimately, child labour brings sparkle to the world – the shameful truth behind the mineral’s make-up shimmer and automobile glamour. Photo: @ravimishraindia Text: Deepali #everydayindia #life #India #Asia #PVCHR #childlabour #climatechange #everydayclimatechange #tribal

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READ : Ravi Mishra captures the choking fumes, chunks of coal and children coming of age in the mines of Jharia, Jharkhand

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A spokesperson from India’s Ministry of Mines said that the safety in mica mines was a matter to be taken care by the State Government who are facing mounting pressure from the mining industry to grant licenses to the illegal mines. On the other hand, it is a fact that the powers of the states are circumscribed by the Central legislation, as per the Indian Constitution for the subject of ‘mineral regulation and development’. This interdependency has been there ever since and has taken a toll on the residents in such abandoned places that is rich in minerals. There is another interesting facet of the current government’s way of dealing with the sources of energy in the country. Recently,many popular news dailies have brought up a peculiar and clear connection between the GST (Goods and Services Tax) implementation in India and the renaming of the ‘Clean Energy Cess’ to ‘Clean Environment Cess’. It has been seen that the new energy funds that are collected from a wider range of other categories of projects have been diverted towards compensating the states that stand to lose revenue as a consequence of GST. The minerals have undoubtedly become an important source of money-making for different people in different ways. Photo : @ravimishraindia Text: Deepali #everydayIndia #life #struggle #India #Asia #everydayclimatechange #CHILDLABOUR #climatechange #PVCHR

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The abandoned mineral-rich regions in the country have two main areas of focus- to save the lives of locals and work towards sustainable development of the region. Education is indeed a cornerstone in creating the most important base for everyone. Some responsible business practices and sustained collaborative measures like quality assurance and adherence to factory standards are some basic ways to start with. Another idea of selling the mines in auction is also respectable as far as illegal hoarding of scrap mica is concerned. Certainly, the unnoticed deaths of children who get burried and die inside the weak mines is one important area that needs utmost attention and help. If the fact that these illegal mines account for 75% of the total mica production in the country is understood well, and if some strict measures are taken to add more value to the human as well as the natural resources in these places keeping in mind mica’s increasing demand in the international market, Indian economy will directly experience an exponential improvement in its GDP figures and overall performance, thus benefitting a lot of lives. PVCHR, our sister organisation has taken some amazing steps towards educating the children and adults in the Koderma district of Jharkhand. It has provided free and basic computer education to children, vocational training to women, along with providing men with farming equipments and related knowledge. Lectures have been delivered to the residents on cleanliness and hygiene, especially women. The organisation continues to better the lives of the marginalised and poor in various regions across India by constantly working towards their upliftment. In this series of photos from my work in the mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar, I will be throwing light on more stories people, child labour and the conditions that prevail due to the unauthorised mines. Photo: @ravimishraindia Text: Deepali #everydayindia #life #India #Asia #PVCHR #childlabour #everydayclimatechange

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This work is in collaboration with the organisation Ravi Mishra represents – People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). PVCHR has been working in the region providing support to the affected people by providing basic education to children and vocational training to women of the region.