Hard Work – a photographic essay

Poor people in India work hard. Manual labour is cheap. Here are some photographs of men carrying loads on their heads, pushing and pulling handcarts, straining to pedal their human and inanimate loads.

The light was fading as I took the pictures, so they are gritty and grainy, but I think this adds to the character. I don’t use flash in street photography.

What do you think?

Tins cans of cashew nuts balanced on heads in the walled city.
The trick is all about keeping the load balanced, with a mate pushing from behind.
Sacks of pistachio nuts, each must weigh at least 10kg – that’s 50kg balanced on his head. I wonder if his eyebrows are helping to keep the load balanced.
Working solo
Pleasantly surprised to be the subject of a photograph. He didn’t stop to sign a release form.
Working with a smile
Welcome doormats
Just how much can a man carry on his head?
I like the nonchalance of the cyclist’s foot on the crossbar.
This man looks exhausted.

Too many photographs, so I will put a few compilations below:

It’s really late and dark, so one last picture of a rickshaw cyclist with a light flare behind his right ear as he pedals through Khari Baoli

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.


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