Where do we find our Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary. For the last couple of years I am searching him. He is everywhere. Just have a look.
Barefoot football, a very popular game among the poor football enthusiasts of India since long. In 1950 India was denied participation in its maiden opportunity to play in World Cup football as they were not allowed to play barefoot. Later they never got this opportunity but a group of people mostly Tamilians from Bengaluru started barefoot football tournament to celebrate India’s Independence from the British rule.
61 years back a 7 a side football tournament started in Bengaluru by the local youths and the poor football enthusiasts to celebrate the Independence Day. They didn’t have the money to buy boots so played barefoot and later it has become a tradition of the tournament and named it Independence Cup also known as mini world cup. With time it gained huge popularity among the youths. Independence cup has witnessed the participation of as many as 96 teams in a year. This year due to time constrains only 46 teams participated.
It is held in Bengaluru East stadium a municipality ground organized by East Indian Sports Club. They play on every Sundays from the last week of July till 15th of August, which stages the final match. These 20mins a half, matches sees huge turn outs irrespective of age and class. It becomes a great business opportunity for the hawkers as well. Samosas, sweet corns and tea coffee are sold like hot cakes. The steps around the ground get filled within a few minutes as well as the foot over bridge of the adjacent Bengaluru East railway station. There is a portion of the playing field where the throwing line runs through the crowd or vice versa.
The cup authority manages some sponsors from friends and local politicians. Earlier the ground was available for free, now they pay Rs 5k per day.
There were days when players like Babu Mani, Carlton Chapman and Xaviers played in this mini world cup. Several Sub – Division players of others states are seen playing with the International players for many teams. Players like Christy of Nigeria, Costa of Ivory Coast or Usman of West Africa all comes to the Silicon Valley to participate in the tournament. There are some who plays in Bangladesh football league as well. Many African students from other South Indian states also join to earn some. The International players earn approximately Rs 5k per match whereas the Indian players earn Rs 3-4k and the locals Rs 1.5-2.5k. These socks and anklet clad players dares on bald red field filled with stones and dust risking their career.
Though the team names still local but they have spread across International borders. People like Soundaraj who witnessed 50 seasons of the tournament knows how it gained popularity with time.
The most interesting part of this tournament are its disputes. They take so much time to solve a dispute that one can play a full time football match in that time as none of the teams are ready to give an inch.
On the final day i.e. Independence Day people were there with tri- colors and face paints. In true sense everyone enjoyed it. There was no space to stand in fact spectators were sitting on the ground.
This unique tournament has no prize money, all these teams are fighting is just for pride.
The Green Revolution that brought prosperity to Punjab is threatening the health and life of the Malwa region of Punjab. The seemingly picture-perfect green fields are seeped in life-threatening chemicals. The reason: almost all farmers in Punjab use pesticides way above permissible limits. And they do so while taking physical precautions to protect themselves from the pest-killing poisons (they don't take precautions).
Beyond the fields, their families use empty containers of these deathly chemicals for storing water for drinking, cooking and bathing. In Dabrikhana village, Sarabjit Kaur, 35 who as diagnosed with cancer in her abdomen , continues to use pesticide containers to store water. No one, not even the doctors treating her, have discussed the risks of pesticide exposure with her.
There are many others like her, which has made Punjab home to 90 cancer patients of every 1,00,000 population. These victims of hazardous chemical exposure have to travel 322 km every four months to the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Institute in Bikaner.
The daily Abohar-Jodhpur passenger train from Bhatinda to Bikaner now serves as their sole hope for the farmers for adding a few more days to their truncated lives. Almost all passengers (patients) bundled into the train's crowded unreserved section are poor farmers with cancer who cannot afford the near-empty reserved class compartment.
The cost of this eight-hour overnight journey is reimbursed at the cancer hospital. With ashen faces, the passengers get off the train at Bikaner at the crack of dawn for the ten minute auto ride to the cancer hospital.
As a photojournalist I not only love to see the world in frames, but like to explore and bring to focus the most ordinary and neglected issues that touch me as a person. In course of this photo feature I came across a few interesting facts that I would want to share with everyone.
We human beings are very possessive about our belongings, but only until it serves our need. We just discard our old things once we acquire new ones. It could range from material stuff like a house, car, TV or even human beings. In a huge city like Mumbai we have abandoned several things ignoring its importance, past history or even its contribution in our life at one point of time.
When we build a house, we nurture it with a lot of love and affection since a lot of expectations and dreams are associated with it. However when it loses its glamour with the passage of time we just abandon it to make ourselves comfortable in our new haven, completely forgetting about the roof that was home to us once.
A train which once carried goods in the tough times of post-Independence era is abandoned now for years. It’s contribution is history today. With all of its strength and vigor it however still provides a shelter to our Railway Protection Force personnel at Dadar yard.
A hospital, which once nursed us in times of our misery is lying abandoned in the premises of the Sarvodaya Hospital at Ghatkopar West. We just happen to forget the walls and the beds that had provided us assistance without enquiring if we had an infectious disease before allowing us in.
An office of Mumbai Corporation at Churchgate, is a shelter for drug addicts today.
A window of a building which once belonged to the biggest society of Independent India that framed beautiful Sun rises perfectly for a family is now home to a Banyan tree.
A Marathi school building which was once the sowing ground of talents is now abandoned for many years and waiting to give way for a new building.
Capitol Theatre which once experienced some historic performances is now nothing but a filming studio in the heart of the city
A 500 yr old Portuguese Church St John's Baptist Chhurch lying abandoned inside SEEPZ Industrial area Andheri. Only once in a year devotees visit this Church due to the paranormal activities in and around the Church.
We humans love to give in to our convenience. In today’s fast paced life we are only addicted to things that entertains us. The human touch is lost somewhere. We have no time to take notice of a beautiful rainbow or a tiny bird that chirps at dawn, forget inanimate objects. It’s so easy for us to abandon even our parents at an age when they look out for our support.
In this age of need and want we have learnt to give so much importance to our wants that we have abandoned the things or the ones we need.
For the last few days India is burning on a new law called Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This law gives eligibility for Indian citizenship to the illegal migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh persecuted on religious basis like Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains except Muslims.
So I wanted to share my experience in one such refugee camp for the Pakistani Hindus, near Delhi. Shot in the year of 2013.
I won't be able to describe my experience in words, better you see the photographs and feel them.
I personally felt very ashamed when I saw a dough filled with domestic flies.
A boy running with the food packet also tells a story. He knows the value of food and also sharing them with his family.
Please share your views too.