Articles

Bharat Patel

Statement of Intent

Unskilled Self – Employed Women in Gujarat, India

These images depict working environment and daily chores of the unskilled women in Gujarat, India. My purpose was to show these, vulnerable and socially excluded, women doing backbreaking work to forge a basic living. Through the images I have tried to show the use of their only asset – their labour – carrying out strenuous work under hazardous and unhealthy conditions with little protection. Often having to take along their young to the work place. I have shown them working against a backdrop of consumerism and industrialisation.

Images were taken over a period of one and half years and several visits, in collaboration with Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). SEWA is a trade union based in India with more than 700,000 women as their members. SEWA and One World Action (OWA), a charity organisation based in London, will use my images for their awareness campaigns.

Recent e-mail received from SEWA:

Dear Bharatbhai,
My colleague Shalini Trivedi had shown your paper pickers photographs at the conference “ PSI Asia Pacific Regional Executive Committee (APREC) meeting and other events held by Public Service International in Cambodia in her presentation. Your photographs made quite lot of impact on the participant. Many participants were from foreign countries who did not know the poor working condition of waste collector in India. Your photograph provided visibility to this poor down trodden workers and their condition. Due to your photographers many question regarding health hazards bad working condition were raised at the international level.

Regards,
Manali