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Living: The jogi artisans of Hyderabad

Living: The jogi artisans of Hyderabad

“We live in one-room houses. Our young male members of the family and children stay and sleep on the pavement. We cannot afford three meals a day; our breakfast is simply tea and biscuits, we do not eat lunch and only cook a meal at night,” said an elderly Jogi woman.

A society that is fraught with marginality, misery and social exclusion creates socio-economic disparities and exploitation in terms of class divide. Owing to the socially non-protective nature of the state apparatus in Pakistan, minority groups and poor working classes cannot exercise their fundamental civic opportunities and basic human rights.

In Hyderabad, the Jogi, a Gujrati-speaking Hindu minority artisan community survives in miserable socio-economic conditions in a small, ghetto-like slum settlement near the central city area. Socially excluded, they live in poverty without any state support such as housing, sanitation, drainage and proper working facilities for their livelihood.

In response to the continued negligence by the state and local political leadership, the community has converted their miseries into resilience and relies on self-help.

On the bustling footpath — their workplace — they put in long hours of labour to weave mats and carpets out of reed, after which, they are left with no energy or time to think about social injustice.

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