Volume 75, Number 46 | April 5 - 11 2006

World

Villager photos by Q. Sakamaki

The circus life

Last November, East Village photographer Q. Sakamaki was in Mumbai, India, where he documented children circus performers. Above and below, Nepali girls in their early teens train with the help of Indian coaches, while, at left, a young Indian woman gets a lift from an elephant. Many of the young performers are from rural areas of Nepal. Although there are concerns about child exploitation, this circus claims they treat the children well. They have tutors who teach them how to read and write, as well as learn English. They also get free food, accommodation and clothes, and earn 1,000 to 3,000 rupees — from $22 to $68 — per month and can earn 15,000 to 20,000 rupees a month if they become stars. “Our circus gives better life to not only the children but also their families,” the circus director told the photographer. “In fact, all children who I met in this story enjoy the circus life,” said Sakamaki.

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