Faces of India

During a trip to India, Zardozi met countless women with stories to share.

“Every few days, girls as young as one are raped. I don’t talk to men I don’t know and I don’t travel alone at night.”

— MUMBADEVI IS A HOUSEKEEPER FOR A MAJOR HOTEL IN MUMBAI. SHE HOPES TO GO STUDY AND LIVE ABROAD.
A girl stands in front of her classmates during math class. Eureka Program. Tamil Nadu, India. Credit: GPE/Deepa Srikantaiah

“With education daughters are no longer a burden, they are a help to a family because they bring in money. With education, men and women are both equal.”

— JIGNA MADLANI, 29, IS A TEACHER IN PORBANDAR, GUJARAT.

“Without tattoos, my arms look naked.  It hurt to get them done and caused bumps all over my arms.”

— MANISHA MODVARIA, 20, LIVES ON A FARM WITH HER IN-LAWS.
Tattooed forearm of a Rabari woman at Nadapa village, east of Bhuj.

“We pick up the garbage because we want Porbandar to be clean.”

— THESE LADIES BELONG TO THE UNTOUCHABLE CLASS IN THE SAME TOWN AS MAHATMA GANDHI’S BIRTHPLACE. GANDHI PUSHED FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE CASTE SYSTEM, BUT LOCALS HERE SAY ADHERENCE TO THE CASTE SYSTEM REMAINS STRONG.
Saving mothers and children

”In the last five to ten years, no one is upset if they have a girl, they are very open minded, even the village people aren’t upset even if they have a girl.”

— DR. PRAMODINI A. MODI OF RIDDHI HOSPITAL. SHE SAYS IT IS ILLEGAL TO CONDUCT ULTRASOUNDS ON THE UP TO 400 EXPECTING MOTHERS THAT VISIT THE HOSPITAL YEARLY.
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