Manek reports to work at 6am. He is always worried that the supervisor will mark him absent and give his duty to a temporary worker. This happens all the time. It is an easy way to make a little money on the side. Manek first sweeps the main road and then around 11am, the supervisor directs him to a house gulli. In this gulli which he has cleaned every day for the last fifteen years, Manek has had boiling rice water, packets of fish shells, beer bottles flung upon him. Once a sanitary napkin landed on him. His co-worker used her broom to wipe the blood off his face. But they did not get out of the gulli. It had to be cleaned.
Sudharak Olwe (born 1966) is a Mumbai-based documentary photographer,
whose work has been featured in national publications and exhibited in Mumbai,
Delhi, Malmo (Sweden), Lisbon, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Washington.
He has drawn immense admiration and awe in the Indian subcontinent for revealing
the naked reality of life’s tragicomic social theater in 2005, he was one of the four awards for the
National Geographic’s “All Roads Photography Program”.
He was awarded Padma Shri
one of India’s highest civilian honors for his social work in 2016.