1994 Photo Contest, Daily Life, Stories, 2nd prize
Photographer

James Nachtwey

Magnum Photos for Geo

01 January, 1993

An untouchable at work in a stone quarry in Haryana. Because the low wages and the difficult working conditions are so extreme, only untouchables are employed in stone quarries. Many quarry workers become indentured to their masters, and because their debts can often never be fully repaid, they are virtually slaves. In India the caste system, which has close links with Hindu tradition, has created a very hierarchical society. The system varies per region and affects every aspect of a person's life. On the lowest rung of the social ladder stand the untouchables. Although discrimination is now against the law, the hardest, dirtiest and lowest-paid jobs are reserved for them.

About the photographer

James Nachtwey

Photographs of the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement inspired him to become a photographer. While teaching himself photography, he worked as truck driver and as ...

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