Being Untouchable

Musahars


Above: Sisters Savitri and Sarita learn the alphabet together. They are Musahars, a community of two million known as the Dalits of the Dalits. The Musahars are a landless people and 99 per cent are illiterate.

The Indian press has often highlighted their plight, but they face ridicule and derision from others around them. In a nearby Musahar community, 'high' caste villagers disrupted our visit and told the Dalits that this photography would be used to mock them.

Bhojpur District, Bihar.

Above: Eighteen-month-old Jahmu was born into to a community of Musahars. Often close to starving, their diet has earned them the name of 'rat-eaters'.

During massive floods in Bihar state in 2008, in which hundreds died, and over two million were displaced, journalists reported that Musahars were often last to be rescued.

Bhojpur District, Bihar.