Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friends + Embrace, Nirvanavan Foundation, Gajuki Village, Rajasthan, India, 2016

This past week we visited an old village from my collaboration with Nirvana and his team at Nirvanavan Foundation. This community is outside of the mainstream system, and the foundation has decided decades ago to embrace it. The community is known to most in the area due to their immersion in the sex trade, as they send their girls to the bigger cities to work in the hotels and bars.

The Kanjar Community is dispersed all over Rajasthan, and located many times near the highways, close to the routes of the truckers as well. Some of their girls are sent as far away as UAE, disguised as housemaids and caretakers of livestock.

The team has taken it upon itself to set up schools in a dozen of these villages, attempting to break this vicious cycle. The children see another way of life through the teachers and, while the topic of the sex trade is never brought up, the idea is that education will bring about change. The boys and girls are included in the schools, for the boys will grow up to be the ones to make the decisions for the girls

In this image perhaps we see two girls living in a village, showing sisterly affection to each other and nothing else. In fact it is exactly that, and nothing more. The fact that they come from this community or another means very little, and my mention of such is to only further the education of those outside of this system in order to help abolish it.

I hope to return to this school to make more images, for the girls were truly affectionate and kind. They welcomed us with open arms, as did the community in spite of the fact that letting us in also lets in change. My hope is that this change comes soon enough for this generation, rather than later.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2.

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