Adnan's Feed
Mar 8, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

A widow’s refuge offers solace to the sorrowful

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Vrindavan, India

By Adnan Abidi

The sound of applause echoing in the dingy shelter forced a smile on the face of Tulshi Dasi. An expression she had almost forgotten since her world turned white. The reason: she could now write and had just finished writing the English alphabet on a blackboard. And all this at the age of 70! She had never felt this empowered and never knew that learning was so much fun. As Dasi wrote a new chapter in her life in the grimy shelter in Vrindavan, that she shares with many women like her, her companions, around 50 odd widows applauded her progress.

GALLERY: WIDOW REFUGE

Widows, either abandoned by their family members or shunned by society, find their life’s last refuge in various government run shelters such as this one. They come here from all across the country, but mostly from Bengal, where they survive by begging and chanting hymns in temples.

Dec 30, 2012

Body of India rape victim cremated in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, Dec 30 (Reuters) – The body of a woman, whose
gang rape provoked protests and rare national debate about
violence against women in India, arrived back in New Delhi on
Sunday and was cremated at a private ceremony.

Scuffles broke out in central Delhi between police and
protesters who say the government is doing too little to protect
women. But the 2,000-strong rally was confined to a single area,
unlike last week when protests raged up throughout the capital.

Dec 30, 2012

Body of rape victim arrives home in New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The body of a woman whose gang rape provoked protests and rare national debate about violence against women in India arrived back in New Delhi in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The unidentified 23-year-old medical student died from her injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from a government that has struggled to respond to public outrage.

Dec 30, 2012

Body of India rape victim arrives home in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, Dec 30 (Reuters) – The body of a woman whose gang
rape provoked protests and rare national debate about violence
against women in India arrived back in New Delhi in the early
hours of Sunday morning.

The unidentified 23-year-old medical student died from her
injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from a
government that has struggled to respond to public outrage.

Aug 1, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

Solar power nightlight

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By Adnan Abidi

Near my house in Delhi at Deenu bhai’s tea stall, I noticed a very young visitor; 7-year-old Sohail. He was Deenu bhai’s relative visiting him from Aligarh for the summer breaks. Before leaving for work, I enjoyed a cup of tea at Deenu bhai’s, and as usual, I was sipping a steaming hot cup of tea with a snack when I saw Sohail with a drawing book.

Hot summer mornings keep away a lot of lazy lads who otherwise are found gossiping at Deenu bhai’s place. I was finding no such company, so I asked Sohail what he’s been up to. He showed me a few landscape drawings, which were mostly village scenes with huts and animals, with the sun rising at a location painted in yellow.

May 21, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

From man into woman

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By Adnan Abidi

Hardeep Singh, a father of two, leaves his home in west Delhi every day at around 2 p.m. Dressed in a pair of light trousers and a shirt, he reaches a local charity, where he undresses to reveal his female clothes underneath and transforms into Seema.

The 33 year old is a male-to-female transgender, or “hijra”, as they are known in India. Living with two identities, by day, he is a married family man and by night, a hijra sex worker.

Feb 9, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

The scourge of malnutrition

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By Adnan Abidi

As a photo-journalist my work is to bring out stories and emotions through pictures. And I have been doing that for the last umpteen number of years. However, after so many years of capturing events that have shocked people across the world, I was about to stumble upon a reality that would be even more shocking than what my camera could capture. It was one such assignment where me and a colleague were to travel to Rajasthan, India. The story was on one of the most prevalent issues of my developing nation—Malnutrition. When I started out from Delhi towards Rajasthan, I did have an idea of what was about to come my way. However, I never anticipated the intensity with which it would move me.

The first stop we made was in a village called Shahbad, the place where we were to actually find some severely malnourished children. After travelling 12 hours by car our visit turned out to be bitter disappointment since we found nothing except empty and ill-maintained hospital wards. After a lot of discussion and research the local doctor at the hospital agreed to take us to the Kasba-Thana village, located at the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border, so that our story could gain perspective and ground. It was this village that brought its first shock for me.

Feb 8, 2012

Gandhi dynasty scion takes on low caste “queen” in India vote

AYODHYA, India (Reuters) – Millions of voters went to the polls in India’s most populous and politically important state on Wednesday, the first stage of an election that tests support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s troubled government ahead of a nationwide vote in two years.

The election in Uttar Pradesh, a state that would be the world’s fifth most populous nation if independent, could have a bearing on who next governs India. It is a closely fought four-way race pitting the scion of the elite Gandhi dynasty against a powerful low caste leader and two other parties.

Feb 8, 2012

Gandhi dynasty scion takes on low caste ‘queen’ in UP vote

AYODHYA, India (Reuters) – Millions of voters went to the polls in Uttar Pradesh, the first stage of an election that tests support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s troubled government ahead of a nationwide vote in two years.

The election in Uttar Pradesh, a state that would be the world’s fifth most populous nation if independent, could have a bearing on who next governs India. It is a closely fought four-way race pitting the scion of the elite Gandhi dynasty against a powerful low caste leader and two other parties.

Feb 7, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

The cycle of life and death

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By Adnan Abidi

“Ganges is Holy,” said my boatman as I pointed my camera to photograph devotees half submerged in the blackish brown waters of the sacred river, the second most polluted in India. It was my third day on a photography assignment on Bihar- a sprawling state on the Gangetic plains of eastern India. My brief was to cover the overall progress of Bihar, hence I planned to photograph a bridge under construction over this sacred river. After a couple of shots with my wide angle lens I shifted to telephoto and as I zoomed in I saw a crow, a crow savoring or maybe just sitting on a corpse.

The boatman wasn’t as shocked as I was. This was no extraordinary sight for him. He continued to praise the progress of the state, and its new efficient minister but said things will not change overnight. On seeing me still shocked about the corpse he revealed that as Hinduism describes Moksha as liberation from the cycle of life and death, freedom forever from earthly miseries and sufferings, the holy river Ganges is believed to be a pathway to attain Moksha. And Hindus believe that dying on the banks of this holy river enable a soul to attain Moksha. So at very short intervals, sometime just weeks, people here see corpses floating on the river, and its an accepted phenomenon. He said that’s the way of life here and still there was progress!