I spend the month of March in India, where the heat of the days are gloriously unbearable. India sounds like truck horns, shouting people and the buzz of rickshaw motors. Chai milk tea burns my tongue when I’m already dripping sweat from the beating sun. Hot air brushes our hair as we ride through the veins of the cities, piling more people than can fit into a single tuk-tuk by sitting on each others laps.
Beneath the vibrancy of life in this country lies countless dark stories of its people, who commonly suffer from poverty, sexual and domestic abuse and social injustices. Life is especially challenging for women, roughly half of whom are regularly abused by their spouse. India has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, where one in three girls become child brides, often to a family member or stranger without any say.
I meet people who put faces to the statistics. A woman who was forced to marry her uncle at a young age and had lost her six year-old son due to a sudden illness. He died on their way to the hospital and she showed me a photo of him that was taken the week before. I spend a few hours teaching English to a woman who has a huge scar on her chest. She is living at a home for women who had been sexually trafficked, and I learn afterwards that the scar is from a suicide attempt. I spend a couple days working in a hospital for victims of HIV & AIDS, diseases that are prevailing through the nation. There are so many more stories and faces that make their struggles mean more than I could ever write. These images are documented moments that happened in between.