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Untouchable



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No Choice
Photograph by William Albert Allard

At age nine Kariamma was dedicated by her family to become a devadasi, or "servant of God." At puberty, like most devadasis in India, she was offered sexually to upper caste patrons. Now, at age 30, Kariamma has given birth to five children, uncertain of whom the fathers are. Unable to marry, many devadasis, most of them Untouchables, are auctioned off to urban brothels. Commenting on the hypocrisy of the caste system, an activist working with devadasis in the southern state of Karnataka exclaimed, "These women are Untouchable by day, but touchable by night. "

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Leica M6
Film Type: 35mm Kodachrome 25
Lens: 50mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/2.8

Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Available light



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