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Run by the students of Udaan

MumbaiWeekly Volume 01 Issue 04




16th December 2011



Anna threatens fast against slow government

Indian protestors wave the Indian tricolour as they ride a motorcycle during a rally in Mumbai on 11 December, 2011. The vehicle rally was organized by ‗India Against Corruption‘ (IAC), a voluntary group, to urge the government to pass the ‗Lokpal Bill‘, an anti-corruption law in the winter session of the Indian parliament. Shankar Narayan / Mumbai Weekly Hundreds of Mumbaikers on Sunday participated in a vehicle rally to express their solidarity with Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare , who is campaigning for an effective anti-corruption bill called the ―Lokpal Bill‘. Over 250 vehicles that included cycles,

motorcycles and even heavy vehicles like truck and buses, were part of the rally that began from ‗Shivaji Park‘ in central Mumbai and ended in South Mumbai‘s well known ‗Azad Maidan‘. Prior to the rally, Indian youngsters participated in a street dance. The rally, attended by people

from different walks of life, was organised by the Mumbai chapter of a voluntary group, ‗India Against Corruption‘ (IAC). Similar protests were witnessed in other parts of the western Indian state of Maharashtra and the Indian capital New Delhi too.

Earlier in the month, Hazare had announced that he would go on an indefinite fast and start a ‗jail bharo‘ (fill prisons) agitation from the month -end, if the bill was not passed in the winter session of the Parliament. The ruling Congress has urged Hazare for ‗patience‘. Runaway Children

For want of a good life In a small room located in the distant suburbs of Mumbai, the atmosphere appears normal. Children run around, play an odd game of carrom, and fight among themselves like any normal child would do - the only difference is that all the nine kids in this shelter, run by an NGO, are runaways from across India. Among them, Shahnawaz Sheikh, the 13year-old boy sits in a corner of the room. He enjoys a game or two in company of his other runaway friends, but every time someone asks him about his parents and home he goes into a silence. The reason why he chose to leave his home was torture and abuse by his alcoholic father and step mother. Shahnawaz Sheikh, 13-year-old runaway, waits in a shelter run by an NGO called Samatol in Mumbai on December 14, 2011. Sheikh had run away from his home as he was ill-treated by his father and step mother. According to the NGO, around 200 runaways arrive in India‘s maximum city every month from across India, many of which eventually fall prey to drugs, beggary, physical abuse and illegal activities. Chirag Sutar / Mumbai Weekly

"My parents are divorced. I have a elder brother who is married, but he doesn't look after

me. My father is unemployed, and whatever he earns from odd jobs he spends it on alcohol. I do not want to go back to my home," he says. Most likely, the NGO will send him to a social centre where his basic needs and schooling will be taken care of. Meanwhile, the figures gathered by Samatol on runaways are revealing. "Around 200 children come to Mumbai every month for various reasons. Some runaway because they parents have scolded them for not performing well in studies, while others runaway because they want to meet bollywood stars or well-known cricketers. There is a sizeable number who escape from their homes because of abuse, bad living conditions," says Vijay Jadhav, the founder of Samatol.




Mumbai Weekly

A boy sells balloons on the pavement. Krishanu Nagar / Mumbai Weekly

Children of a lesser God Despite India‘s economic growth, Indian poor continue to remain poor. According to the UN, India has over 600 million poor people – which is roughly half the country‘s total population and according to a ten-year-old Indian census there are over 70 million homeless people in the country, many in crowded cities. And over three hundred thousand children live on the streets of Mumbai. India‘s official poverty line has been set at Rupees 26 (around $0.50) per day in rural areas and Rupees 32 (around $0.61) per day in urban areas.

A small child begs on a street in Mumbai as passerby‘s walk along. (Left) Shankar Narayan / Mumbai Weekly

A little girl begs for alms at a street in Mumbai. Shankar Narayan / Mumbai Weekly

A disabled man sleeps on a pavement in downtown Mumbai. Sathya Keerthi / Mumbai Weekly




Mumbai Weekly

A monk walks among the ruins of a mill in Mumbai. The last few years has seen the once majestic mills being converted into residential and commercial complexes all over the city. Shailesh Andrade / Mumbai Weekly

Members of a social awareness group perform street play to spread awareness about HIV AIDS in Mumbai on 20 December, 2011. According to a UN health report, approximately five million people are affected by AIDS in India. Pratham Gokhale / Mumbai Weekly

Indian film star Shahrukh Khan speaks to mediapersons while sitting in front of his portrait during a promotional event in Mumbai on 11 December 2011 Khan‘s ambitious Don 2 , where he will be playing the role of a gangster, will be releasing on 23 rd December. Saarthak Aurora / Mumbai Weekly

A boy records the happenings of the Muhharam procession in Mumbai using a Tab. True to the city old traditions always have preceded newer changes. Saarthak Aurora / Mumbai Weekly




Mumbai Weekly

OPINION Battered and lonely

A senior citizen sleeps in a crowded Mumbai local train. Chirag Suttar / Mumbai Weekly

Hundred-year-old woman saw her daughter (70) dying in front of her eyes. Since she was old, her feeble voice could not raise the alarm for help. For two days, she lay next to the dead body of her daughter, and the neighbors only discovered them after foul stench of the body started spreading in the surrounding area. This certainly isn't a rare case, according to a research, the number of old people dying of loneliness and abandonment is far more that old people dying of any disease. Krishanu Nagar / Mumbai Weekly


No lessons Learnt Fire kills and we know it better than any other nation. Around 90 people died recently in a fire in AMRI hospital in Kolkata. Earlier a fire in a school in Tamil Nadu claimed the lives of over 100 school children. And in a mental institution in TamilNadu, and in an office complex in Bangalore and in Kolkata‘s Park Street. The list can go on and on. Yet we learn no lessons. And now there have been a report that a few Mumbai hospitals are fire traps as well. And so are our homes. As a nation, we like to turn a blind eye to these, a tragic news report for a reacting for a day or two

and then willing ourselves to forget it in favour of a Bollywood comedy. After all its better and cheaper than spending money to revamp our fire preparedeness. And definitely paying a ‗token amount‘ to a regulatory official is economical and quicker than laying deeper foundations or using the best quality cement for our buildings. Its not in our wealth, or the lack of it, that lies our country‘s third world status. Its in our mind. Am I too cynical ? Well, whats the cricket score then, if that makes us feel any better.

A man sits in front of a burnt shop in Mumbai. Shailesh Andrade / Mumbai Weekly

The numbers are magnanimous, but action taken so far, is none. The research by World Health Organisation suggests that there are 77 million old people in India, and this number is likely to rise to 177 million by 2025. Ironically, 90 per cent of the older people are from unorganized sector with no social security, while 40 per cent of the old live below the poverty line. Longevity has been one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, but it also means that today the number of older people is on the

increase than ever before. The last century has seen stupendous growth due to rapid industrialization and urbanization, but the same growth, sociologists suggest, have brought about some major changes in our social structure. The centuries old joint family system has disintegrated, and with it has collapsed the safety net of parents and grandparents. To add, since the welfare of the aged has been a low priority with the state they have nowhere to turn, they are left disillusioned, shattered and lonely.



Photo essay

No Inglish please As more and more Indians move towards educating their children in English medium schools, vernacular schools seem to be on the verge of extinction in an urban setting. Ironically, for the not so affluent section, education in vernacular medium schools is perhaps the only affordable option left. Mumbai Weekly photographer Chirag Sutar visited one such Hindi medium school located on the outskirts

of Mumbai which has an overall school strength of 300 students. The school appears ramshackled, with broken sheets for clasroom partitions, and broken benches to sit. And while the government run Sarvashiksha Abhiyan Scheme of free food might be encouraging to some, students make do with drum lids for a plate. But despite the struggle, their smiles don't fade.

Mumbai Weekly




Mumbai Weekly

Above:Workers construct a building as Mumbai‘s Worli Sea Link is seen at the background. Left: Workers prepare to harness a load to a crane in Mumbai Krishanu Nagar / Mumbai Weekly

Mumbai‘s Infra in Red India‘s striking economic boom in the last decade, that symbolized the aspiration and energy of the new generation , has hit a road block with the economy dramatically slowing down to a below 7% growth rate. And this compounded with high inflation levels, has hit where its hurts most – India‘s infrastructure spending. While India is far behind China in building its Infrastructure, even the existing projects have hit bottlenecks due to the slowdown, with an immediate need

for India to upgrade its over 4 million kilometers of roads, suffering from decades of neglect. A recent Indian report identified that country needs to spend almost a thousand billion dollars on its infrastructure just to meet the existing requirements. Coming to Mumbai specifically , the commercial capital of the country, has been steadily losing out to even other Indian cities. In a recent study, Mumbai gave way to Delhi as the most

competitive Indian city. While Mumbai‘s roads are a dreaded by its citizen‘s, its more than matched in notoriety by its drainage system especially during monsoons.

While there is no quick fix, the government needs to start amending the situation before it too late, feels Santosh, a young taxi driver, as he is almost prophetic in his forecast ―abhi nahi to kabhi nahi‖ (If not now, then never).

Above: E -waste and furniture scrap lie in front of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. Krishanu Nagar / Mumbai Weekly

Sahara Group to invest in Kingfisher? As India‘s stock Index BSE fell more than 1.2% in early trade on Monday, the market‘s focus however, remained on the fate of the cash-strapped Kingfisher airlines. Several Indian media reported that India‘s Sahara Group, may lend between Rs 2500 million (around $ 48 million) to

Rs 5000 million (around $ 96 million) to the Kingfisher airlines. The chairman of the Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya said that negotiations are going on with Indian investors and bankers for infusing additional funds into the struggling airlines.

A Kingfisher Airlines aircraft stands in Mumbai‘s Chattrapti Shivaji airport. Shailesh Andrade/ Mumbai Weekly




Mumbai Weekly

A stunt performer rides his motorcycle during a ‗Wall of Death‘ show in a wooden, cylindrical motordrome at a city fair in Mumbai on 15 December, 2011. This sideshow is part of a ‗Mahim Dragha fair‘, a Muslim religious fair, attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees. Shankar Narayan / Mumbai Weekly

On road to be a Jonty An Indian boy imitates former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes during a training session at a coaching camp in Mumbai on 15 December, 2011. Rhodes will be holding a series of fielding camps for budding cricketers all across India. Forty-twoyear-old Rhodes said that fielding is an aspect of cricket that makes one stand out from the rest. Image Shankar Narayan / Mumbai Weekly

Is it a sport? Is it a dance?

It‘s Capoeira! A group of Capoeira artists perform at a shopping mall in south Mumbai on 13 December, 2011. Indian shoppers at Phoenix Mill were treated to a taste of ‗Capoeira‘, a Brazilian art form, that combines martial arts, sports and music. A group of Brazilian artists enthralled the audience at the up-

market mall with their energetic performance that involves the grace and flexibility of a dancer and strength and skill of a sportspersons. The artists comprising of students of Capoeria, held the show with the aim to promote this Brazilian martial art in the city. Capoeira, often mistaken to be a dance form

because of the involvement of music, is a form of martial arts with a combination of complex attack and defense moves. It was created in Brazil, mainly by descendants of African slaves with native influences, which is believed to have started in the 16th century.

A group of Capoeira artists perform at a shopping mall in south Mumbai on 13 December, 2011. Saarthak Aurora / Mumbai Weekly




Mumbai Weekly

Kushti’ - Rural mud wrestling in the city Photographs by Gitartha Goswami and Arkadaripta Chakrabhorthy These are not images from rural

kicking and grappling, right in the

the decline, with the advent of

heartland of India, but in the centre heart of Mumbai. ‗Kushti‘ takes

modern sports and entertainment

of India‘s commercial capital,

place in a clay or dirt pit and the

and with the Indian youth opting

Mumbai. While iphones, multi-

wrestlers are expected follow strict for more high profile and finan-

plexes and playstations are a rage

rules – abstain from drinking,

cially lucrative sports like cricket

in Mumbai, where wrestling means smoking and sex. Kushti is pre-

and tennis. Here are a few images

WWF on television, Mumbai

dominantly a North Indian ethnic

of pehelwans (strongmen or wres-

Weekly photographers found that

sport— popular in the Indian states tlers) training in an

the traditional Indian mud wres-

of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar


tling called ―kushti‘ was alive and

Pradesh. However, Kushti is on


Published by: Udaan School of Photography. Editor: Shailesh Andrade Photo editor: Shankar Narayan / Saarthak Aurora Chief Photographer: Chirag Suttar Email:

(training centre) in

Mumbai Weekly  

An online weekly newspaper run by the photojournalism students of Udaan School of Photography

Mumbai Weekly  

An online weekly newspaper run by the photojournalism students of Udaan School of Photography