The Hindu, in association with Birkbeck, University of London, and the Centre for Law Policy and Human Rights Studies, Chennai, conducted the national photo competition ‘The Working Elderly’ between June 30 and July 21.
Research undertaken by Birkbeck, University of London, and the Centre for Law, Policy and Human Rights Studies, Chennai, has found that elderly people work in every sector of Chennai’s economy, particularly in low-paid work. Typically their work is invisible or denigrated and their status as workers is unacknowledged. Research into the work of the elderly people across the country is negligible — generally because it is assumed that old people are not working.
The aim of the contest was to reverse this situation by uncovering the work of the elderly people across the country, revealing the diversity of their work and demonstrating their contribution to family, society and economy through their determination and endurance.
The judges for the contest were Aruna Roy, Pension Parishad (social activist), Rajiv Menon (filmmaker & cinematographer) and The Hindu's Picture Editor, D. Krishnan. Of the 2,873 entries received that attracted more than 34,000 votes from various regions in India, the following have been chosen as the top seven:
1st Prize of Rs. 20,000 - Ashok Kumar: "Life is not so easy!'' from Chennai, Tamil Nadu
2nd Prize of Rs. 10,000 - Sourav Karmakar : "The photographed old lady has a modest hotel inside the potter’s haunt in Kolkata. Nearly 50 people come here everyday to eat at ‘Mashir Hotel’. Mashi (or aunt) prepares food for the potters in this picture." Kolkata, West Bengal
3rd Prize of Rs. 5,000 - Nitin Khatri: "A camel shepherd", Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The cash prize of Rs. 5,000/- for the most-voted picture has been withdrawn as The Hindu's IT department found strong evidence of some participants having resorted to unfair voting practices. As a result, four, and not three, judges' commendations have been announced, and each contestant wins Rs. 1,250.
The judges' commendations are:
Mouhamed Moustapha: "Pillars of the nation. The more positive energy you have around you, the more positive your world will be." Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu.
Rahuldev Balagopal: "Mohammed, a carpenter goes about his work with skill and commitment." Bangalore, Karnataka.
Dinesh I: "The salt pan workers work under extremely hazardous conditions. They work with the harsh sun beating down upon them under the open sky and have employment only for about six months in a year. It is estimated that about 3,000 workers exist in the Marakkanam area." Marakkanam, Tamil Nadu.
Busho Rajkumar: "I am an artisan." Manipur.A report by the Picture Editor D. Krishnan with comments from judges Aruna Roy and Rajiv Menon will be published along with the top seven entries in the Sunday Magazine on August 4, 2013.