Meghana Sastry is a photojournalist from Bangalore, the silicon valley of India . She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication. With a passion for storytelling, she is a well known for her tenacity and photo stories coupled with...
Buddha Nagar where basic necessities seem far fetched
Story of Buddha Nagar, a Dalit slum in Gulbarga now known as Kalburgi is one of Karnataka’s poorest districts. This is the backyard of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. The people of this slum have been supporting Congress for generations and say, while we continue to vote for a minister from our community, we haven’t been provided basic necessities. We have no toilets say the women of Buddha Nagar. They wake up early to empty their bowels before sunrise along the railway line and wait for 11:00 PM or later to go again they face a lot of harassment from men outside the slum who watch them defecate and pleasure themselves. The rest of the day is difficult as they have no access to sanitation.
Employment opportunities are very few to come by and most of them are employed in construction. There are a fair few deaths in a year as there is no safety equipment provided but they do it anyway for the lack of options.
The older generation which consists mostly of grandparents who take care of their grand children while parents travel far away for work. Most of these houses have no electricity and children are seen sleeping outside on the streets on stone slabs covering open sewers despite the mosquitoes as their homes aren’t conducive to sleep. Some even use bricks as pillows
Despite all these issues, the excitement here is reserved for a bigger festival, Ambedkar Jayanti. Ambedkar who was a dalit and stood for their rights is someone they look up to and celebrate this day in all it’s glory.
A time to dress up, be seen, and be heard loud, and clear. The entire city is painted in blue Jai Bheem flags and festivity in the air.
A grandmother watches her grandchildren sleep on the road over open drains that are covered with stone slabs. One even uses a brick as a pillow. No electricity in these houses pushes them to the streets.