A dyed lock of hair twisted around a gigantic nose ring symbolises married women in this tiny settlement in the interiors of Kutch, Gujarat.

Located in the scorching, sandy banni area, the settlement is isolated from other habitations. It has only a seasonal well, no carpenter, ironsmith or industry.

Theirs is a very different existence from that of the urban poor, who see progress but are not a part of it.

Shayoni Mehta

Shayoni Mehta is a photographer and freelance writer. She is working on her master’s thesis in the area of development aid policy at the University of Strasbourg, France.

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