he project was started in 2007 while we were travelling
across Uttar Pradesh, which has the most cases of violence
against women in the country. This is a continuing project. The
images are from UP, Rajasthan, Delhi, Jharkhand, and Mum
bai. It is an ode to women from all backgrounds saluting their
courage in the face of the abuse that is part of their daily lives
and to create a dialogue on violence against women.
A woman’s choice of education, career and marriage are
challenged and compromised because she is a woman. She
is expected to shoulder various responsibilities, looking after
household work, siblings, elder care, and work in the field. The
situation does not change, whether in an urban or rural setting.
Raped, maimed, forced to bear multiple children, subjected
to abuse and mental torture, these women still struggle to hold
on to some semblance of normalcy on the fringes of society. And
while the Domestic Violence Bill, the Sexual Harassment Bill,
and the enforcement of basic human rights are reviewed and
often upheld by courts, its effects are slow to permeate the grass
roots. The local authorities—namely the police and the sar
panch (village headman)—routinely ignore the complaints of
abused women. Facing oppression from members of the upper
castes, moneylenders and their own families and spouses, they
hope their children will lead better lives.
Cases of abuse against women are rampant throughout
India. Thousands of women battle domestic violence, discrimi
nation, acid attacks, sexual abuse and mental torture every
day. Survival comes at the cost of forgetting the pain and sub
jecting themselves to such conditions. The photo documentation
portrays the grit and glory of these women who constantly hope
for an improved tomorrow.