In my on going series of articles on famous photographs, I have also written about a few photographs which have neither been famous nor were they of historical importance. Today’s photo also falls in the same category. I came across this photograph just a couple of days ago and since then it has been haunting me so much that finally I decided to research and write about it. Photo-journalist A.M. Faruqui took this photo on 20 January 2012 in Bhopal. It was first published in Business Line (a part of The Hindu newspaper) on 21 January.
The photograph shows a woman who is a double amputee. She has lost both her arms above the elbow joint. In the photograph, she is sitting on a roadside and is being offered food by her two year old daughter.
The woman’s name is Sangeeta. She used to work as a laborer at construction sites. On a fateful day, Sangeeta met with an accident at one such site of Multai township in Madhya Pradesh. Despite their best efforts, doctors could not save her arms. Having been disabled, Sangeeta’s life descended into darkness.
But soon after the accident, a man named Suresh Behare came and married her. Suresh was fully aware of Sangeeta’s disability at the time of marriage. The couple ran from pillar to post in hope of finding some help. They even approached both the district administration and the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. But no one helped them. Their two year old, cute and responsible daughter bears a very beautiful name, Vaishnavi. Ironically, the photo was taken during the second National Convention on Children’s Right to Food in Bhopal.
The photograph is truly heartrending for those who can feel. Sangeeta can not even caress Vishanavi for her dutiful behavior. At the tender age of two, Vaishnavi is playing the role of mother for her mother. Imagine what all would be going through Sangeeta’s heart.
Look at the hands of Vaishanavi. Such lovely little hands! Her face is the definition of innocence. At this age when children make tantrums and even fight for food, Vaishnavi has evidently understood her mother’s constraints. She is behaving like Annapurna (Hindu goddess of food and nourishment). Faruqui took another photograph of mother-daughter pair. It’s given below.
Update on 01 March 2014
Ever since I wrote about this photograph, I have been receiving a large number of emails requesting whereabouts of Sangeeta and Vaishnavi. People want to help the mother-child duo. That is indeed such a good gesture. But, I am sorry to inform that I do not have information about their current location. If you find any latest piece of information about Sangeeta and Vaishnavi, please let me know so that this article could be updated further.
However, in case you remain unable to find this mother-child pair, make sure that you find a Sangeeta and a Vaishnavi in your vicinity. There are millions of souls out there who need help. If you’re in a position to help, please help just anyone who is in need. Thank you.
How did you like this photographs and the story behind it? Please comment and give your feedback as it helps me in writing better content for my readers. Thank you for reading and stay connected with my website as I will continue to bring even more iconic photographs to you.