Saktatva: Nocturnal lives of capital city
Project info

Saktatva, the word in Sanskrit means addiction. Through this photo series I would like to throw some light on Delhi’s obnoxious dark secret. The secret of “Saktatva”, the bitter secret of the darkest national capital region, which can be witnessed as the sun goes down. Majority chunk of the street dwellers indulges into the dark addiction especially into substance abuse, majority being children. Most of them are on a perpetual high of smack, brown sugar, marijuana (ganja) and hashish (charas). Those who can’t afford these, are mostly inclined towards easily accessible cheap drugs like ink eraser fluid, petrol, Iodex and glue. Others are hooked to sleeping pills and cough syrup. Most of them are on a cocktail of drugs and share the same needle, increasing their vulnerability to AIDS. When they are high on these substances it leads to different other crimes like snatching, robbery, rapes, and even murder. They are mostly active in the areas like Chandni Chowk, Yamuna Bazaar, Connaught Place, Badarpur, Mahipalpur, Old Delhi, Seelampur and Sultanpuri, railway stations, bus stops and depots, etc…

I started this photo story back in 2013 when I first visited Chandni Chowk in the wee hours of the morning. What surprised me as how these elderly and the young ones come together for this deadly obsession that even food is barely a necessity. Two incidents which shook me completely were when a boy barely between 4 to 5 years was forced to drag hash, which eventually his lungs couldn’t inhale. And the other incident was where the two kids lying on the streets unattended while their close ones were busy in their obsession. The risk involved here is huge, first is the safety issues of the general public and the secondly the future of the Capital City of India… it’s going to be a just a dark or Delhi will see even darker days?