Giles and Nicole are currently travelling through Southern India and share with us some more of their experiences with Bluey. The Portrait Equality project has given them another way to give back to the people they meet along their journey. They share with us:
As the quarry mine approached us on the left hand side, there was no question we had reached Maranahali. It was this great big valley of granite where men and their families were manually chipping away at the rock.
The granite grew in layers and they extracted it using a few different methods – mainly the old school way of chisel and hammer. They also made fires in certain areas to loosen each layer and make it easier to remove. In some parts they even used dynamite to blow it apart. It’s a crazy contrast to see such manual labour and to know that their weekly paycheck would barely buy a meal in an average restaurant back home in Bondi.
We ventured into the village to meet a lady named Rani. Giles had previously spent two nights there in the village with the 40K group and had met a few of the locals, so it was nice to return and give them something back. When we arrived, Rani was expecting us and a few of the mums came out and started dressing their children for photos.
One little girl had her hair doused with coconut oil and tied in pigtails, plaited and then curled back under and fastened with another tie. This seemed to be the traditional hairstyle for school everywhere we’ve been so far.
They put on their best saris with gold and silver trimmings and posed for the Portrait Equality photos. We taught each of them how to hold the Instax print and shake it until the image would appear.
We spent the afternoon learning more about them and sharing a chai tea before heading back through the quarry and making our way back to Doddagubbi village for the night.