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Sahapedia Frames Photography Grant 2019

Finally, we have our top 20! Selecting our finalists for the Sahapedia Frames Photography Grants 2019 from over 450 applications was not an easy task. What set the selected proposals apart were their unusual subjects, unique perspectives and, of course, commendable camera skills. And for those of you who do not find yourselves on this list, it's only because we know that there's a lot more to come from you - so please keep clicking and do stay connected!

IndusInd Bank is generously supporting the Sahapedia Frames Photography Grants project.

Over the next three months, our Grant Awardees will be travelling the length and breadth of the country, documenting diverse cultures. Here, in brief, are the Awardees and their proposals:


Kajol Rustagi
Kajol wants to document the human cost and effect of salt mining on the natural environment in coastal Tamil Nadu primarily in the region of Marakkanam district. She will look into the personal narratives of the salt pan workers, their daily struggles and the labour intensive process of harvesting salt from sea water.
Soumya Shankar Ghosal
Soumya wants to document the hand-pulled rickshaws operating in Calcutta. He intendsto work with several rickshaw pullers to document about the general conditions in which they live and work. The series would involve the other side of the story – the clientele, who still use the rickshaws on a daily basis.
Soham Mitra
Soham is doing a focussed documentation of the shepherd communities which migrate between Bihar and Bengal in search of new pasture every winter. He intends to follow the community from the end of December when the reaping of the rice crop is complete and the grazing commences, until the new sowing season starts in April.
Sankar Sridhar
Sankar wants to document the 22 Sattras remaining on Majuli Island on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. He will focus on the daily life of the bhakats (monks), who divide their time between worldly chores like cooking, washing, farming, grazing their cattle, and attending regular school – and higher pursuits like meditation, learning to play musical instruments such as the dhol, flute and cymbals, practising yoga and studying scriptures.
Siddharth Haobijam
Siddharth is interested in the Nupa Amaibi who are the gender-variant Shamanic priests of the indigenous Meitei of Manipur. Nupa means male while Amaibi is a feminine term. They are the two spirits-souls of Manipur. The Nupa Amaibi as a social institution is declining with just a few dozen of them still practicing.
Ritayan Mukherjee
Ritayan wants to document the lifestyle of the Fakirani Jats living on the Great Rann of Kutchh. The Fakiranis keep camels which includes one eco-tonal breed of camel known as “Kharai camels”. These are the only breed of camels that can swim. These camels have successfully adapted to ecotone zones or transitional areas of vegetation – here, coastal mangroves and grasslands.
Danish Qazi
Danish wants to document the Pashmina weavers of Srinagar and neighbouring places like Budgam, and Ganderbal. With this project he wants to revive the sense of aesthetics among the artisans’ work that seem to have been lost in the mechanized industry. He would also like to visually establish the plethora of activities and processes that goes in the making of the finished product.
Manish Lakhani
Manish will be documenting the cultural practices, lifestyle and culture of the Konyaks living in Mon district, Nagland. His work will focus on the tattooing practices which was done on their faces and other body parts, which had great ritual significance for Konyaks. The art is getting lost because the number of living warriors is steadily declining amongst the Konyaks.
Jai Thakur
Jai Thakur has been interested in the kumbhar community living in Delhi and he will be looking at their age old history, their Alwar roots, religious mythologies, the art of clay, values and challenges they are facing in pursuing this form of art.
Isaac Tsetan Gergan
Issac, will focus on communities living inTurtuk, which maintains cultural similarities with Hunza and Gilgit in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir. He will examine the cultural traits of the Nubra Valley and its long history of crafts, textiles, architecture, religion, food, agriculture, trade, local economy and family histories.
Indranil Bhoumik
Indranil will document the conch craftsmen who make sankhas won by Bengali women. The community, called sankharis, are struggling for relevance in an era of cheaper substitutes. It is a declining industry and his work will document individuals, groups and families, their walks of life, craft and other relevant issues.
Chaitanya Solanki
Chaitanya would look into the overall biodiversity of the Little Rann of Kutchh and the survival of the Indian Wild Ass. The Wild Ass is an endemic and threatened species and their small population is critical to the ecosystem of the Little Rann where its natural habitat has decreased and degraded due to salt mining.
Aakriti Chandervanshi
Aakriti will document Mumbai’s famous street-corner Irani Cafes, of which less than 25 survive in modern times. To adapt and sustain, many are bringing about change to their decor and menu to keep up with the demanding times. The Irani Cafes are integral to the culture of Mumbai and part of the history of the Irani community living in the city.
Ankita Jain
Ankita wants to document the Jain pilgrimage which takes place in Palitana. This involves the ritual circumambulation and climbing of the Shatrunjaya hill by devotees. She is interested in the various steps and rituals devotees go through in this process and pursue their singular aim of attaining Moksha.
Lopamudra Talukdar
Lopamudra wants to document the lifestyle of the nomadic Changpa people in Changthang region of Ladakh. Lopamudra wants to capture their lifestyle in the winter months when they are subjected to snowstorms and temperatures drop below 20 degrees Celsius. Living with them, she wants to experience how they cope with the harshness of nature and yet sustain their culture and lifestyle at such unforgiving altitudes.
Parshati Dutta
Parshati wants to document the course of the Jhelum River from its source at Verinag and the role the Jhelum River has played in the history, culture and architecture of the region through which the river flows. She will be travelling to important points of its route in places like Srinagar, Bijbehara, Avantipura, Uri, Baramulla and Sopore.
Pinky Biswas Sanyal
Tusu is a major festival of the Kumari community (unmarried girls) in Purulia, West Bengal. Unlike most of the festivals, Tusu is not a religious festival, but primarily a harvest festival. The festival takes place in January and culminates during Makar Sankranti on the Kansabati River. Pinky will look at the changing dynamics of the festival and how local people engage with the festival in modern times.
Priyanka Chharia
Priyanka’s project will trace the Gurung community in Nepal with a particular focus on the second and third generation Gurungs who have migrated to different parts of India. She will highlight themes of migration and displacement, while trying to map out the struggles and histories of the community as they tried to build a life from scratch in India.
Sarah Jabbari
Sarah will look at the importance of the institution of the Atash Behram (fire temple) how the fire temples are integral in building a sense of identity in the Zoroastrian community and keeping their rituals and traditions alive.
Snehal Kanodia
Snehal is interested in the Karen community, who arrived in 1925-26, when about 63 families landed in Andaman and the first Karen village, named Webi, was settled. The Karens of the Andamans present an extraordinary story—a story of migration from Burma, cultural endurance, and love for nature which Snehal intends to document as part of her work.