Mission Delhi – Sona Devi, Near Sahibabad Village
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Her first name means ‘gold’ in Hindi. One morning, The Delhi Walla meets Sona Devi in a shared autorickshaw, somewhere just outside the city limits, and fell into a conversation.
“I’m on my way to work,” explained Ms Devi, a beggar headed for Vaishali Metro Station. There she’ll stand outside the entrance seeking money from commuters, “I usually spend my mornings there when it’s more crowded.”
Deep in thought, she stares through the rickshaw’s grimy glass window and continues, “When I’m finished at Vaishali I’ll go to Anand Vihar bus adda (Inter State Bus Terminus).” She will stay there for the rest of the day.
Home for Ms Devi is a rented room in Sahibabad Village, where she lives with her three daughters. She is trying to find a suitor for her eldest. The room is walking distance from several high-rises and many women from the area work as househelps in these apartments.
As we approach Vaishali Metro station, the woman’s face suddenly looks determined. She gives the driver Rs 7, disembarks and heads towards the crowd. Another workday has now commenced.
[This is the 108th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
On way to the work
[…] here for Sona Devi, the 108th […]
Nice portrait. But yet another confirmation that much of India’s begging is just a racket. Which is why I don’t give money to anyone except the oldest and the most decrepit. Her three stay-at-home daughters could jolly well find some work, if they’re able-bodied enough to look for a husband.
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