This video tells the story of the Deulwale (temple folks) – an invisible community of India.
For years, Rohini Powar has seen the temple folks perform on the street. During the performance the man whips himself and the woman carries a portable temple on her head. Rohini has always found it strange that though these temple folks live in a neighboring village, nobody in her own village knows anything or about them. So, she decided to follow the temple folks with her camera for a day. What she learnt about them during the day was shocking: The community, comprising of 70 families, lives an ambiguous life. They don’t have the rights to vote because they have no papers to prove their citizenship. In fact, they don’t have any kind of government documents to prove their existence.They own no land or permanent shelter. Their children don’t go to school.
The only time they are visible to the world is when they perform on the street and beg after every performance. The name that their community has got – Deulwale/temple folks – is also casually given by Rohini’s fellow community members and it is not an ‘official’ social category or caste. The community lives outside the village boundary and are not included in any of the social events such as festivals or weddings.
After spending a day with them, Rohini found it absurd to sit and watch an entire community live off begging and without any rights. Because for her these people are just an extension of her own community because they live nearby, speak her language, have same food habits and follow the same religion. These are simple people who have no education and no rights, but want their children to have a better life.
This is the reason why Rohini has produced this video. She wants the district administration of Pune, Maharashtra to take notice of the community and instruct the village panchayat to provide them the basic rights such as education, housing and employment that they currently do not have. You too can help by writing to the district administration at this address:
The District Collector,
Collector Office Campus,
Opp. Sassoon Hospital,
Pune – 411001.
Ph. (020) 26114949.