Girls on an irrigation channel

Central India, I don’t remember what year (no date stamp on my old film photographs), although I do remember exactly where.

This irrigation channel is still there, but it’s been non-functional for at least twenty years.

It’s lovely when children, all on their own in the fields hundreds of yards away from their homes, can just grin at a chap with a camera, with no fear and no self-consciousness.

The risks are probably no smaller in India than in Britain – in fact, they’re probably greater. But they don’t think about them, their parents aren’t reminded about them every day by the telly or the papers (2007 edit: this may be beginning to change now – tellies are starting to appear even in the remoter villages). And they’re genuinely not big risks in either place.

Put the other way, the risks in Britain are probably no greater than in India – in fact they’re probably smaller.

How much has our society lost in this terrible paranoia? I am absolutely certain we’ve lost a lot more than we’ve gained.

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©Clive K Semmens 1989