Hunger in their Bellies

by Baya Agarwal


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Net of death for some and life for some.

It is the same story across the length and breadth of India. A nation that today plays a key role in changing world markets, has not given enough money to its own people to run their homes.

Of the many marginalized people categorized as BPL (Below Poverty Line), fishermen dotting the coastline of Gujarat’s Narmada delta, feel they are the worst affected. They are caught in a tussle between Region and Religion.

The Hindu dominated (major Jain population) state has an iota sized domestic fish market and hence most of its produce is sent to Maharashtra and Kolkata. The fishermen allege that the state government is hardly affected by the ups and downs in their lives mainly due to the eating patterns of the State.

Since the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam, the unpredictable levels of Narmada have swallowed homes of many fishermen but the government has paid little heed to it. The number of catches each day has declined drastically and forced the fishermen to either die of starvation or fight hunger everyday.

These fishermen have a hunger in their belly both literally and in reality. They want to break away from this trade and explore other opportunities where their skill sets can be used. They intend to bring about a change within their community and to satiate the many quietly roaring hungry bellies of their family members…

About Baya Agarwal
Baya Agarwal is an empanelled freelance photojournalist with UNICEF. She is currently working with a NGO in rural areas of Rajasthan. Besides photography, she has ten social documentaries to her credit. She believes in the power of visuals and hopes to bring social change by using them wisely.

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