Monday, 15 October 2012

A Photo Essay

Welcome to my village Jalihal! 

Let me take you around my village. Taluk 'Jat' (pronounced Zath) is in the district of Sangli, Maharashtra. It has 147 villages that come under its jurisdiction. Jalihal is one such with a population of about 3000.

I come on my father's bicycle when my mum sends me to buy salt.
Toffee for myself with the money left ;)
This village has only one shop. Anything that is not available here must be got from the Taluk, which is a 3 hour journey and has only one bus running from the village every morning and one bus to get back in the evening.

My home is in this lane... 

This village has no proper sanitation and hygiene. Water does not run in the taps. People have to fetch water and store it for daily use. There is no proper sewage system. The drains run all along the street.

This is my home! 

Most of the homes here look like this. They use dried coconut/sugarcane leaves for roof and plastic sheets to prevent rain from seeping in. They keep their cows, goats and hens in the frontyard. Only few privileged build their homes using mud, stones and bricks.

This is the Oldest Lane in the Village

The houses in this lane are built of stone and passed on by ancestry. People in this picture are working on rebuilding a part of it which had fallen down during the latest rains.

That is my father working in our field!

Agriculture is the main occupation of these people. Sugarcane and grapes are popular and give huge profits. People who cannot invest in them grow maize, wheat, barley, groundnuts and the like.

My mommy cooks yummy food. 

People here still cook using firewood. Forget the LPG, even kerosene is unheard of. Some homes are so small that they cook outside in unhygienic conditions.

A typical kitchen in this village... in the homes of the privileged. 

A kitchen where people cook using firewood, is covered on three sides so that the air does not put the flame off. Trust me... it feels like sitting inside an oven.

This lamp glows even when the lights in our home don't! 

The NGO 'Yerala Projects Society' working for overall development of the villages around has installed 4 solar lamps. If not for them, you would never know if you stepped on a goat, bumped into a cow/buffalo or put your next step right in the gutter! This village has electricity supply only 12 hours a day. (6pm to 6am)

We like to play here while my mother washes clothes. 

Most of the village folk wash their clothes in this stagnant water that gets collected. The source of this water is unknown to me. The water here is stagnant and invites mosquito breeding. Children play and bathe here which is extremely unhealthy.

Are you thirsty? 

This borewell is their source of water. They use this water for all purposes – drinking, bathing, washing, cooking etc. There are four such borewells for the entire village of nearly 3000 people. Apart from these, there is a big well (owned by the government) , which is connected to all the homes.

When I am older, my mum says I can have all her lovely bangles!

Wearing bangles is a tradition followed in South India, but specifically around the Bijapur region, women are known for wearing more than 2 dozens of single coloured bangles on each hand. Since this region is in the border of two states namely, karnataka and Maharashtra, it has a mix of Kannada and Marathi speaking population who live in harmony.

This is my school!! 

This school supports till 7th grade in Kannada medium. After this,the children need to go to high school which is nearly 4-5 km one way. This would not have been a big deal if they have transportation facilities – which, is not the case here. Children have to walk on mud roads or go by bicycle if their parents can afford one. Hence most parents do not send their daughters to high school.

My Classroom!

This is a classroom in a nearby village, Akkalvadi, about 7 kms from Jalihal. This classroom had a few torn outdated charts, a blackboard, sacks of grains, cement and what not piled in a corner, a table and a chair for the teacher, a porous roof and a very dirty floor where the children had to sit.

The future of these beautiful little girls is a big question mark. Most of the girls around these villages are married off at an age as early as 15. More awareness needs to be generated about gender equality, sanitation and importance of education in these villages.

Will you make my future as wonderful as your child's is now? 

'India shining' – depends on how the lives of these little one's in the remote corners of the country turn out to be. I want to see the change happening! Are you with me?

By Pavithra K S 

No comments:

Post a Comment