Vadia village in the northern district of Banaskantha has a notorious reputation where girls as young as 12 are forced into the flesh trade by their own families. The Saranias Community were once singers and dancers at the residences of local rulers, but the women went on the game after India's independence in 1947. Prostitution has thrived ever since in the village because the sex workers' daughters have been considered unsuitable for marriage but 20 women and girls were married/engaged on 11 March that could well end the social oppression. This initiative, aided by NGO's has received the backing of the local government who has promised more rehabilitation programmes in the near future aimed at improving their lives.
AUTHOR: Divyakant Solanki INDIA
Born in Amreli, Gujarat in 1981, Divyakant Solanki developed his passion for photography and consequently became a photographer with Business Standard in Ahmedabad in 2003. In 2005 he moved to Mumbai to work as Senior Photographer at Business Standard daily before joining EPA in 2010.
His photo story titled 'Narendra Modi Face of 2014 General Election' has won the Silver Medal of the People in the News (Stories) category in the 11th China International Press Photo Contest (CHIPP2014). He won third prize in the Sports category in Media Foundation of India's National Press Photo contest (MFI2014). He was the only Indian photographer who won the prize in the 11th China International Press Photo Contest. He won Honorobale Mention in the Editorial: Sports (Professional) category of the International Photographer of the Year Award 2016. He won The best photo of all (First Prize) in World Water Day Photo Contest 2017.
His work graced as 'Photo of the Day' mostly in various international newspapers and on websites such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The National, The Seattle Times, The Telegraph and more.