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Photo Essays

Behind the wall

They pray to god for their better life.

Behind the wall – “Anubhab” a sweet home for trafficked girl child, photo essay by Arunima Mondal

[T]oday, when our country, is becoming more powerful, desirable, economical balanced place in world, the position of a women has remained the same, actually it has become worse. From the time of Vedas to modern times, women have suffered brutally in the form of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, degradation, aggression, humiliation. Another brutal issue which is prevalent in society is women and child trafficking. In this increasingly interconnected world, children are more at risk than ever of being sexually exploited or sold. United Nations independent experts have warned today, calling for decisive steps at the global level to stop crimes such as child prostitution and trafficking. The main reason for child trafficking is child prostitution and child pornography and most vulnerable situation is obviously woman child.
In West Bengal very few organizations have worked for this trafficking issue. Some of them are government sponsored and some are NGO’s.I remember one such organization,a home named ‘Anubhab’ which works in child trafficking issues. When I visited there, I met lot of girls who were sexually abused previously. Some of them were even sold by their parents forcefully or intentionally.

Every day a new child comes to this home. I met Rani who came here at the age of 3. She was trafficked by her parents. Another girl Nimi also spent 10 years of her life here. She was trafficked by her husband. Here I found girls from age group 3 to 20 years.
I found that this home is a haven for those homeless girls. They found their happiness and sadness inside this wall. They have no complains against anything. They think if they are inside the wall they are safe, outside world is not their cup of tea. They see a new child come to this home every day, a new case, new violence but try to make their better world inside this wall. They found their companion inside the home even if it is a girl child home. I found several homosexual relations between them.

When they are asking for food.
A new violence is very familiar with them, every day police came and left one new partner for them.
3 days to 10 years all are same here.
Rame came here at the age of 3.
They are happy with their friend and partner.
Girls are very comfortable with any other girls only.
Nimi who is the oldest member of this home.
They try to be a normal child. all facilitates like education, sports entertainment are available their.
Some bitter memories allways hunt them.
Love is the most bitter word for them but they try to forgot this past memories and try love again in different ways.
Love is not bound into a opposite sex may be some time it happen in same sex.

Q&A with Arunima Mondal

Photography is…
Photography is the most vibrant media for communication. For me it is not only image it also express my feelings, my language, my opinion or view, for me this is the strongest part of myself to describe anything, to a living beings even if he/she is illiterate, less bothered or disable person about the world or universe.

Photography and writing…
Photography is most impactful documents of an incident or situation. And a written document is more helpful to narrate context of the subject. With a compact story line, helps viewer, to relate himself with the story. So in my opinion Writing is very much necessary with a documentary photography.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
Every human being surrounded by me left impression on my life. Situation is most important teacher in my world. In photography perspective I can mention some names like Shahidul Alam, Francesca Woodman, and Josef Koudelka.

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born on 28 July, 1989. I am an independent documentary photographer from Kolkata, India. I started my photography journey in 2011 from my college. 2012 is the biggest changing year for me, I permanently shifted to documentary photography and photojournalism. I stared work with an NGO, and I found the other side of our society which is some time not very acceptable. On my work I try to document the life of other people who have some think to tell. I have always had a strong fascination with visual story-telling because I found photography is the easy tool to communicate even in uneducated society.

ArunimaArunima Mondal, 1989. I am a documentary photographer based in Kolkata. I started photography in 2011 when I was in my graduation. Initially I started experimenting on it. Later,after attending a workshop on documentary photography, I permanently shifted to the documentary photography. By the time I started working with a nonprofit organization, my focus shifted to the social issues and violence.

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