From Lost Childhood to Uncertain Future – A photo essay by Sanjay Austa

1984, India – Anti-Sikh Riots Victims


They were in their mother’s wombs, few days old, or school going toddlers in 1984 when their fathers, uncles or siblings were butchered in the Delhi anti-Sikh riots which left almost 3000 Sikhs dead. These children were suddenly wrenched out from their snug family setup and hurled into the world of neglect, apathy and abuse. They grew up in the shadow of the riots, struggling between going to school and making a living. Their fathers were killed and their mothers either remarried or were so busy working to eek out a living that the kids were virtually forgotten. 25 years on they have grown up into young men and women. Some wayward due to the neglect, others unemployed due to lack of education, and yet precious few transformed their lives by sheer grit and determination.

These are their stories captured by Sanjay Austa
A professional photographer and journalist based in New Delhi, India.
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