Laadli Devi sells jewelry and other accessories at a night market in Khizarabad, a neighborhood in South Delhi, India. Night markets have become more common in Delhi during the coronavirus pandemic. Government officials have allowed small markets to operate in the evening to avoid daytime crowds.
Dr. Mohammad Saleem treats Jamsheed Rasool at his private clinic in New Delhi, India. Saleem says he tries his best to help people in whichever way possible. Many of his patients, including Rasool, consider him a respected figure in the community and say that he doesn’t overcharge them for services and medicine.
Shankar Kumar sells decorative Buddha statues that his family makes at a popular tourist market in New Delhi, India. Statues cost from 250 to 500 Indian rupees ($3.50 to $7) depending on the size, and he sells about 10 every day.
Mohammad Azad designs and stitches traditional lehengas, or long embroidered skirts usually worn at weddings, at his shop in New Delhi, India. Azad makes two to three lehengas per day, which he sells to local shopkeepers. He earns about 800 Indian rupees ($11.49 USD) a day during peak marriage season.
Gulzar Zahid (front) sells flowers and flower garlands with his employee Karam Veer at Genda Phool Market, located near the Fatehpuri Mosque in Old Delhi, India. Zahid and his family sell about 4-5 kilos (9-11 pounds) of flowers each day, often to Muslim devotees who use them as offerings to saints buried in nearby shrines.
University student Areeba Khan (yellow mask) cheers on Asad, 11, while her fellow student Namra Fatima (pink mask) cheers on Shabana, 13, in the Shram Vihar informal colony in Delhi, India. The activities are organized by Aaghaaz-e-Taleem, a children’s education initiative. Many children in the neighborhood have parents who are employed as domestic workers or daily wage laborers and are either unable to afford schooling for their children or send them to nearby government schools.
Ramesh Chand makes paan, a betel leaf combined with areca nut popular for its stimulant and psychoactive effects, at his market shop on Salma Paan Corner of Chandni Chowk in old Delhi, India. Chand learned how to make paan from his grandfather. He sells a sweet variety for 20 Indian rupees (29 cents) and a plain variety for 10 rupees (14 cents).
Laborers separate pieces of fabric by color at a textile manufacturing factory in the Okhla Industrial Area in New Delhi, India’s capital. The cloth pieces are purchased as stuffing for mattresses and pillows.
Kalabai Shyam, 45, an artist from the Gond, the largest Adivasi (tribal) community in India, paints during an exhibition at Dilli Haat, a plaza and craft bazaar in New Delhi. Her media are charcoal, colored soil, plant sap, mud, flowers, leaves and cow dung. She says she is inspired by Mother Nature to tell stories through her paintings.
Renu Di cuts white radishes on her job at Dastarkhwan, a canteen staffed solely by women, at Jamia Millia Islamia, a public university in New Delhi, India. The canteen is run by seven women who employ 40 others to serve 5,000 customers a day.
Magizh Madhi draws in the kolam style in front of her house in Palamedu, a village in India. The folk art is created with white rice flour, which is sometimes mixed with colored powder to draw geometric patterns around grids and dots. Kolam practitioners often create the art form before sunrise to bring prosperity to their homes. Before they begin, the artists clear the area with water, sweep it and then wax it with cow dung, which is believed to be an antiseptic.
Members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam political organization from India’s Tamil Nadu state chained themselves to a metal door in front of a state government office in Coimbatore, a city in southern India, on Jan. 9. The group demanded that officials pardon and release elderly prisoners, and those eligible for parole.
Sinnu Gili wears a “poothkuli,” a hand embroidered shawl, in her kitchen in Pudhu Mund in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, just red and black threads are used in this type of embroidery, but now members of the Toda tribe incorporate other colors. The white indicates purity and innocence, the red indicates adolescence and the black indicates maturity, Gili says.
Cycle rickshaws are fast disappearing from Madurai, a city in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, due to lifestyle changes and the automobile revolution. Vinayaga Moorthy says many other cycle rickshaw operators now drive auto rickshaws or have turned to other jobs. “I don’t have money to buy an auto rickshaw, and people who own auto rickshaws don’t come forward to offer jobs considering my age,” Moorthy says. “I now pedal for my daily bread. I earn 100 rupees ($1.49) to 150 rupees ($2.23) a day to feed myself and my wife.”
Cecilia Amma, 50, harvests tea leaves at a private tea estate in Kotagiri, Nilgiris, a district in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state. “We are the last of the tea pluckers,” Amma says, noting that her community’s children are in school to pursue professional careers. Amma says she lived in Sri Lanka before she was repatriated to India under the Sirima-Shastri pact, a 1964 agreement between Sri Lanka and India that granted Indian citizenship to people of Indian descent in Sri Lanka.
R. Shobhana, a nurse, checks the blood pressure of Letchumi Neelagiri, 65, who has sickle cell anemia. Neelagiri is from the Irula tribe, which inhabits the southern and eastern slopes of the Nilgiris, a mountainous region in Tamil Nadu state in southeastern India, among other areas. Most Irula women and children suffer from anemia and other health challenges, including scurvy and night blindness, due to food habits and local cultural practices, health experts say. Neelagiri’s blood pressure check is part of a mobile outreach program organized by the Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA). The program brings medical teams to the Irula every 15 days to check on anemic patients as well as those with other health problems.