Kathputli Colony has never made it to the headlines of mainstream media. It failed to excite the civil societies and very few people talked about it. Let me introduce you to the colony.
Kathputli Colony is hardly 6 kms from Delhi’s Connaught Place. It is a colony inhabited by traditional Puppeteers and street magicians. But with the advent of the ‘global culture’ and highly ‘entertaining’ entertainment industry in the country, these artists are facing challenges to even make their ends meet. Government has not helped them at all.
To add to the problem, the entire colony was sold to Raheja Developers by the government to create commercial shopping complexes and residential areas, and the artists are left to face the consequences. Raheja Developers are supposed to relocate the people to an area in Anand Parbat. But there are lots of problems which have not been addressed.
As a matter of fact, the younger generations of the artists are in a phase of identity crisis. Many of them have left puppetry and play drums during marriages and other festivities. I visited the colony sometime back. Here is a photo report.
|Entrance of Kathputli Colony|
|Kathputli colony: an inside view|
|Playground full of foul smell and fithy water|
|Playground with street pigs|
|A women in a Kathputli colony house|
|Dilip Pradhan, traditional puppeteer|
|Sanjay Bhat: A young puppeteer, who has travelled to four European countries|
|Police visits the colony regularly|
|A group of young men playing bridge|
|Young mother sitting outside her shack|
|Young girls giving reasons to believe that there can still be smiles and hope|
This Photo Feature first appeared in Youth Ki Awaaz on July 24, 2013