This album is a result of a visit in February 2019 to Panna district in Madhya Pradesh, a ‘direct action’ project of India Fellow (link is external) in 10 proximate tribal villages in Panna block, sub-block Devendranagar in the impoverished Bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh. The team intends to identify the root causes of the unusually high infant mortality of 120 (of 1,000 births) in this Raj Gond tribal block - Panna district itself is at an abysmal 86, India is at a relatively low 34. Infant mortality is 8 in Europe, and in our neighbour Sri Lanka too. India Fellow (link is external) founded in 2010 by social entrepreneur Rahul Nainwal (link is external) is running a multi-year program – they have funding for the initial 3 years, starting April 2019 – to do something about it.
This project is directed by bubbly and bright eyed Nikita Cruz from Mumabi with Saurav Verma from Bokaro. They both had an alternative vision of her career while pursuing college, and working with the least privileged of our society is thier choice - one that can only bring admiration and respect for their commitment to doing what they love in life.