World’s Photo Artists Unite for Gender Equality (A project supported by the United Nations)
Turtuk, is one of the northernmost village of India situated in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir located in the Nubra tehsil, 205 km from Leh, on the banks of the Shyok River. It is the only Balti region under the Indian administration on which India gained control over after the 1971 war with Pakistan. Geographically, Turtuk lies in the Baltistan Region and is one among four such villages in India, the other three being Tyakshi, Chalunkha and Thang. The residents of Turtuk and its adjoining villages speak Balti language along with Ladakhi and Urdu. Turtuk is the last outpost of India at Thang after which Pakistan-controlled Gilgit-Baltistan begins. Turtuk is one of the gateways to the Siachen Glacier. Turtuk is also very famous for the availability of different varieties of fruits especially apricots. While in Ladakh, adopting birth control is often considered unholy, in Turtuk, it is also customary on the girl child (irrespective of the age) to take care of her male sibling. Here are three photographs of sisters taking care of their younger brothers in Turtuk. The photographs were shot during the third week of July 2019 at Turtuk. In a world conscious of gender equality, there are still areas where gender plays a huge role in terms of division of social responsibilities. As a photographer, while I came across numerous such situations wherein sisters were cradling their brothers, I didn’t come across a single occasion where I could see the opposite.