A 17-year-old boy, a resident of Jagdamba Camp in South Delhi's Malviya Nagar captures how his community deals with the lack or excess of water. These are his photos
Water in the slums of Delhi affects every aspect of daily life, from monsoon flooding to the daily struggle for clean drinking water
In South Delhi's Jagdamba Camp, water comes from communal pipes twice a day, from 5 am to 10 am in the morning and from 4 pm to 10 pm in the evening. People use the same water for bathing and drinking. Nobody monitors the water quality
Houses ‘in the basement’ of Jagdamba Camp are particularly vulnerable. Before the monsoon, people pile up mud in the streets to try to stop them from flooding, and prevent stagnant pools in which mosquitoes can breed
Jagdamba Camp’s centralised water system is a network of pipes, with both, motorised and hand-held pumps. Several houses have also installed their own private pumps
A boy pushes a cart laden with water. Old jerry cans, water bottles, paint containers, soft drink bottles, buckets—anything can be used as a vessel. Reusing such plastics is a matter of necessity
Here, a boy sucks on a pipe to get the water flowing. Men rarely fetch water, Suraj says, because they don’t want to get involved in the gossiping and quarrelling. It is not uncommon for a woman to spend up to two hours each day pumping and transporting enough water for the family. Children help, once they reach the age of twelve or so
The Jagdamba Camp nullah, or drain, runs past a mosque that was deliberately extended to block the smell, because it was disturbing worshippers. Such open drains are the norm in Delhi slums. They carry untreated sewage and waste directly into the Yamuna river: the 22-km stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla accounts for over 70 per cent of the river’s total pollution
The spirit of jugaad (innovation) is a part of everyday life here. A pipe can be a handy belt to carry another bucket—not to mention a fashion accessory. Survival is a matter of improvisation
These photos were taken by Suraj, a Jagdamba Camp resident. He has studied photography for the past three years with Kid Powered Media, an NGO dedicated to helping disadvantaged kids tell their stories
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