This is a series of portraits and daily-life documentation of the Dalits in rural Mainpat, India. Dalits form the bottom of India’s caste system, below the four main varna groups. Dalit means broken or crushed. It is the name chosen by these untouchables of old, and it represents their sense of a history reverberating with oppression, exploitation, and injustice. Dalits are the most grievously treated victims of what is arguably the most tenacious hierarchy on earth.
The caste system has ancient roots and became a means of social stratification in which low castes were expected to perform dirty, degrading, and dangerous tasks for the rest of society. My intention is to help expose, through a series of intimate portraits, what it means to be untouchable in an emerging superpower.