Purulia Diary (2009 – 2017)
It is said that like many other backward places in India Purulia is another one, but it is unlike so in many aspects than the others. Rather it is true to be said that it is a neglected place. Purulia is located in the east part of Chota Nagpur plateau. Long before a larger part of the Chota Nagpur plateau was known as “Jangle Mahal” district as the maximum area was engulfed with forest. In 1833, Manbhum district was carved out of Jangle Mahal district. In 1956 Manbhum district was partitioned between Bihar and West Bengal under the State’s Recognition Act and the Bihar and West Bengal (Transfer of Territories) Act 1956.
In literal sense diary means writing some experiences or feelings in daily basis or regular interval. But this diary is different from such concept. I am a suburban Indian brought up in a lower middle-class family. From childhood the surroundings beside me have left a deep impact on my life. I am always enchanted more by the intimacy with nature and simple living. That makes it possible for me to explore myself what I have come to recognize as my ancestry. After completion of my school life, I had to migrate from a leisurely outskirt of a town to a busy life of a city because of my higher study. The tumult of the city engulfed the large canvas of boundless sky, silent moments of my home, noisy wings of the pigeons, innocence and my dreamy nights. Since then, I have been trying to relate my inner world with the fast outer world. From childhood I felt it very difficult to express my feelings properly to others and I am also not an expertise in writing them up. While I am at home or visiting places, always in search of my own existence comparing to the outer world and discover myself in some new feelings. This urges me to an itinerary life and photograph my feelings about the things what I saw while roving.
During my several visits to Purulia, I became overwhelmed by its diversity in landscape, people and its rich traditional culture. But the sufferings in daily life are very clear in most of the corners here. Still now people have to fight serious struggles in earning their livelihood. The condition of economy, transport system, cultivation is not mention worthy. Geographically it is in the less rain fall area. Because of the pebbly land of plateau and less rainfall, most of the cultivation land can hardly be harvested once in a year with a little outturn. People have to migrate to nearest towns for earning by hard labour. Education and health facilities also have the same condition. Students and patients travel miles for having basic facilities. Electricity is a dream till now in most of the corners. It is terrible to think about the availability of utilizable water in maximum part here. Rainfall is insufficient to fill the natural water sources. Enough projects for supplying water have not materialized yet. In the scorching heat of the sun, women carrying water containers on their heads toward distant rivers is a daily picture. While roving in Purulia, I visited several villages and tribal colonies but majority of them are in same depiction. The only positive thing is that in spite of all these sufferings, people are very rich in their traditional culture. But the economic condition has become a barrier to nurture and globally bringing them forward. Nowadays Government and some NGOs are taking some steps but these are not enough to get rid of that situation. As a simple human being and visitor, sometimes I felt very feeble for not able to contribute any physical help in this matter. Sometimes I wanted to be a voice amongst those people suffering till now. This state of mind urges me to photograph my feelings, my experiences in Purulia.