I reached Medha Village located in the Satara district of Maharashtra with Jeronimo Miguel from Sapana.org, who has been working in the surrounding villages towards the empowerment and sustainability of the Katkari Tribe, in collaboration with Shramik Janata Vikas Sanstha, a local NGO. They together were trying to impart skills to the Katkari women. One such project was to make quilled paper earrings.
In collaboration with Sapana.org, we gave a basic camera workshop to Pooja Dzado, from the Katkari tribe. She took photographs of her daily life for 3 days. Since we were using a very old analog camera, we were not sure what the outcome would be.
A bit about the process
Every day, we would go at noon and again around dusk to Gandhi Nagar and ask for Pooja Dzado. All the children would shout her name and in a few minutes she would appear, holding the camera from it’s strap, almost disheartened, would return the camera back to us, announcing that it doesn’t work anymore. We would then tell her that it’s just the film roll that needs to be changed. “You clicked 32 photos already?” Yes, she said, every time. We would change the film roll and this went on for 3 days. By the end we had 6 film rolls and 150 photos.
I returned to Mumbai with the film rolls and I was told by the studio that only these photos could be saved. It was sad, since we couldn’t retrieve any photos of the Ganpati celebration, which happened as well. I retouched the photos a bit on Lightroom.
About Pooja and Gandhinagar village
Pooja is 16 years old and was married to someone she loves in her tribe two months back. She stays in a 2-room shanty with her partner’s family. She is currently also making quilled paper earrings, which Sapana.org buys for INR 20 each. (We will be producing a film about the creation of livelihoods through this process, in the next days). Next to her house, in another shanty, lives her mother and her little sister. Her father died a few years back. The tribe marries within themselves. Seemed to me that all are one big family with their stories woven into each other. The only profession pursued by the tribe is fishing – the men fish and the women sell it outside in the Medha Village.
Here are some of the photographs taken by Pooja Dzado, in and around Gandhinagar (Medha Village), Satara, Maharashtra.
(We plan to gift a digital camera to Pooja Dzado with a memory card, if you like to donate for the same, drop a comment with your e-mail and we will get in touch.)