Life in good weather

PhotographerEugene Datta
PrizeHonorable Mention

"The sand is eating us up," Renuka Mondol says, standing in front of the rickety shed she shares with her husband Sukhdeb. Made of weed, straw and bamboo, and precariously held together by rotting ropes, their hut looks more like a tattered, windswept tent. The name of the place is Dadonpatrobar, a miniscule fishing village adjacent to Mandarmani, which is a relatively new beach resort approximately 180 kilometers from Kolkata. Once a fisherman, Sukhdeb cannot go fishing any longer. Not because he is too old, but because he does not have the physical strength. With depleting fish stocks near the shore, men are having to go further and further out to sea, and for longer periods of time. Not something Sukhdeb can endure. And he has no son to take up the mantle. With boats strewn high and dry on the sand around Dadonpatrobar, many of its residents eke out a living by sorting prawn larvae; 500 rupees for a thousand larvae scooped with seashells out of murky seawater caught in makeshift plastic pools or buckets. Neither Renuka not Sukhdeb has the eyesight for the job. And all their three daughters having been married off, they cannot be of help either. So there is no income. And nothing grows in the sliver of arid, sand-covered land they have next to the shack. This is life in good weather for Renuka and Sukhdeb, and countless others like them in fishing communities along India's 7,500-kilometer coastline. There's no telling what bad weather can bring.

About Photographer

Born and raised in India, I am a self-taught photographer currently living and working in Aachen, Germany.