The three photographs displayed in the Sidewalk Surprise Series at The Children’s Museum of Madison WI portray a family of women farmers from Central India. The Dandu family, located in the state of Telangana, represent a long line of shepherds and farmers. The family raises goats, saves seeds, and grows traditional crops like millets, lentils, and leafy greens. They are some of the 98 million Indian women farmers who feed their family and community, daily. Photographed during fleeting moments of rest are Mangamma Dandu, grandmother; Narsamma Dandu, daughter-in-law; and Harshita, granddaughter.
The Indian women farmers are part of a larger body of work, The “In/Visible” Series. Indian women farmers’ contributions are rarely acknowledged or valued. They embody diverse and location-specific ecological knowledge about seed-saving, foraging, food culture, and healing. The farmers depicted in the In/Visible portrait series hail from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Telangana. They are Hindus, Dalits, Muslims, Christians, some are of African descent, and others represent the original, indigenous inhabitants, Adivasis. Like their global counterparts, Indian women farmers make profound contributions to a farming life, and to the survival of their families and communities. They confront unrelenting struggle and yet, they persist. They are my sheroes.
Attached Photo: Harshita Dandu, a farmer-to-be, from Central India
Special thanks to Food Sovereignty Alliance