January 21st, 2008

eye

faces of poverty, part one

begging is omnipresent, even institutionalized, in india. it is extremely difficult to deal with. if you are even marginally compassionate, you are heartbroken over and over, wanting to lift these people up. but there is no way to give to everyone, and many people don't even keep the money they are begging. children often give it to their parents, women to their husbands. if you give to one, you can be swamped by everyone within eyeshot. my "solution", whenever possible, was to pay for a portrait. the money was still going to the same place, but it wasn't quite begging. with one exception, i only did this when one person or a family group was nearby. in jaipur, i decided to photograph a large group of women and children. you'll see them later.