New Internationalist

Arindam Mukherjee

Issue 379

This picture was taken in the temporary shelters at Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India, three months after the place was hit by the tsunami on 26 December 2004. I was studying the people who had lost their homes and family members. I wanted to find out the magnitude of the continuing trauma.

Vedavalli lost her granddaughter and daughter-in-law. Asked about her family, she came outside with the photograph of her grandchild, 10-year-old Prashanti, who was playing in the back yard when she was swept away, along with her mother, by the killer waves. Vedavalli was very much connected to her and used to play with her during leisure time. Now, in her sleep, she regularly hears Prashanti’s cries. The emotion on Vedavalli’s face says it all.

Presently I am working with the EyePress photo agency in Hong Kong. I have received a media fellowship from the National Foundation for India for my long-term photographic project on Indian coalminers.

Arindam Mukherjee, India

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