Sangam lost his mother several years ago when she committed suicide in a desperate bid to escape the misery of life with her alcoholic husband. I don’t know why Sangam’s now-estranged father turned to liquor but it is worth appreciating that the prevalence of alcoholism (and suicide) inevitably rises among populations immersed in the hopelessness of debt, contributing to individual ruin and the eventual undoing of communities. As a measure of the crisis in rural India, an average of 47 farmers a day committed suicide in 2009.
Jan 24, 2011 | Categories:Development assignments | Tags: 13 to 18 years, 25 to 45 years, 3 to 13 years, 45 to 60 years, adolescent, agriculture, air pollution, anxiety, bangle, bare feet, blue, boy, caring, cart, child, child employment, children, color, colour, concentrating, cotton, daughter, domestic, dust, family, father, feet, female, girl, hands, headscarf, home, horizontal, India, Indian, industry, informal employment, livelihood, male, man, man - group, masculinity, men - group, middle-aged, mother, outdoor, pollution, poor, portrait, portrait - informal, portrait - no eye-contact, reflecting, relaxing, resting, rural, rural working-class, sad, salwar kameez, sari, sleeping, snack, son, South-Asia, South-Asian, street-food, suicide, tea, teenage, transport, village, waiting, white, woman, work, working, working-class, youth | 5 Comments »
The quality of school education in India varies widely. From the Doon School in the foothills of the Himalayas which teaches the sons of India’s elite to the tens of thousands of dusty government schools that dot India’s rural plains, providing classes in rote-learning for the children of agricultural laborers. The photographs I have just featured in my gallery on south Indian students looks a school in Tamil Nadu that falls very much in the bottom half – though certainly not right at the bottom – of this scale.
Oct 15, 2010 | Categories:Development assignments | Tags: adolescent, child, children, classroom, color, colour, concentrating, education, female, girl, India, Indian, literacy, pupil, reading, school, South-Asia, South-Asian, student, study, studying, teenage, thinking, town, uniform, working-class, writing | Leave A Comment »