Stories Of 300 Villages In 300 Sketches

I have started a project of capturing lives of everyday people of rural India and giving it a life by sketching the captured frame. I will travel 300 different villages of India to capture 300 such stories and translate it into sketches in the next 18 months. Support my campaign here.


May 27, 2017 | Sanket Jain

machanmachan (2)There are several reports coming out of Sindhudurg talking about the destruction caused by wild animals. Daily, farmers have to spend their night on an elevated structure-machan or at times at perch in the farmland. The structure and the green fields seem to be a perfect spot to be in, but the reality is completely different. Farmers, throughout the night, have to stay awake in the machan to guard the fields and this at times comes at the cost of their lives! Read the complete story here.
Location: Chaukul village (Sawantwadi)

DSC00306-minIMG_20170411_095036_680-min (1)As you travel towards Sindhudurg, you will find an evergreen cover which is mesmerizing. The moment you take diversions, the story changes completely. You will find a lot of sites where rampant deforestation prevails and this sketch comes from one
of the photos I clicked there. At the face value of it, everything seems fine, but Sindhudurg belt has some of the most unusual stories.
Location: Ghatkarwadi village

12aIMG_0952Vishnu Kumbhar from Senapati Kapashi village of Kolhapur district belongs to the 13th generation of Kumbhar family and makes sure that the art form is kept alive in modern times. Kumbhars say that they haven’t witnessed a decline in their business, but the number of artists has reduced considerably. Vishnu recalls, “There were 180 artists in 1964, but now only 4 of them are into this business.”
Location: Senapati Kapashi

2IMG_20170416_224243_596This site has been classified as grade C tourist site by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. During the 12th five year Plan (2012-17) an average of 2 rural tourism clusters should be sanctioned in each State/ Union Territory. Therefore, an allocation of Rs. 770 crore needs to be made for the scheme of Rural Tourism Clusters in the 12th Plan (Source: Report of the working group on tourism by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, page 119). One of the local villagers said, “Barely 6 people from my village visit this tourist spot on a daily basis.” We are in need of innovative ideas because clusters won’t serve the purpose unless people are aware of tourist spots in the first place! This becomes one of the reasons why a lot of tourist spots from rural India go unnoticed.
Location: Ajara (Kolhapur district)

woman farmer-min1Oxfam in its recent report titled “An economy for the 99%,” said more than 40% of the 400 million women who live in rural India are involved in agriculture and related activities. However, as women are not recognized as farmers and do not own land, they have limited access to government schemes and credit, restricting their agricultural productivity. An Oxfam study conducted in 2006 with Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG) found that only 6% of women owned land, 2% had access to credit and only 1% had access to agricultural training. The lowest-paid workers in the most precarious conditions are predominantly women and girls.
Location: Beredki wada of Chaukul village in Sawantwadi

DSC00133-min4Ahilyabai Holkar Talav (popularly known as Mastani Lake in this village) is close to the Khandoba temple. There is a tradition that after visiting the Khandoba temple, people carry the idol and wash it in a nearby lake. It was ironic to see that this nearby lake had water, however, mastani lake which is just a few km away completely went dry. This paints the picture of water resources of rural India. While in most of the cases the power lobby or the land mafia is involved in the intentional creation of drought, it doesn’t end here. A lot of manmade disasters are created in rural areas and these cracks tell a tale which is not just six months old, but several years old and the struggle is visible!
Location: Jejuri (Pune district)

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