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Along the Yamuna with Surender Solanki

The Yamuna river flows in northern India, starting at the Yamunotri Glacier in Uttarakhand and streaming down towards towards Delhi. According to ancient Hindu scriptures, the banks of the Yamuna flourished with a steady population living peacefully. Now, those same banks are relatively staid until one reaches the national capital, where a twenty-two kilometer stretch is rife with industrial waste and pollution. Despite government attempts to clean it up, this portion of the river continues to degrade, but not necessarily wither away. Indeed, there are people at work and play here, and photographer Surender Solanki captures these moments with sensitivity and appreciation.

Solanki has traversed this polluted corridor ever since he was a child, going back and forth between west and east Delhi. A recent art school graduate, Solanki does not own a camera but has nevertheless managed to gather 15,000 images over the course of eight months. The intimacy of his portraits, as well as the spontaneity of respective riverside inhabitants, are a testament to ingenuity and practicality. You can view a selection of his portfolio in the February 2014 edition of Caravan here.

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