The domestic help project.
Growing up in an Indian household with both working parents, our domestic help who was barely 18, was the sole representation of youth for me. I was 10 and fondly called her Rani. We bonded over hairdos and gossip sessions.
In spite of being so intimately involved in our lives, the domestic help is one of the most neglected working class in India. There are about 4.2 million domestic workers in the country and a majority of them are below the age of 30. Lack of any structured rights, thousands of women have to move directly from being young children to adults with a tone of responsibilities. In the process, they somehow end up skipping their youth. Underage marriages, domestic abuse, lack of healthcare are just some of the issues they face everyday.
As a part of this ongoing project, I photographed a group of women over a period of time. They were also given a point and shoot film camera, that they used to document their own lives. This project attempts to be an unadultrated perceptive on factors that surround their world and issues that interest them. I plan to carry on with this series around several other urban cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi) in India.