Photo Essays

Pilgrims Progress. Muslim Palanquin Bearers of Vaishno Devi

Pilgrims Progress. Muslim Palanquin Bearers of Vaishno Devi

New Delhi-based photographer Sanjay Austa has always been fascinated by people who have faith, because he has none. Last year, Austa visited Vaishno Devi in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, to document the pilgrims and their progress up the Trikuta mountain to visit the Hindu shrine situated at 5,200ft.


Kanchenjunga Expedition,Nepal

Kanchenjunga Expedition,Nepal

(In 2004 I went on a two month Kanchenjunga expedition with the Indian army to document their climb in my journal and my camera. The following is one of the travelogues I wrote for magazines. The galleries have photographs from the expedition.)


Taaza-Khabar: A Nation of Newspaper Readers

Taaza-Khabar:  A Nation of Newspaper Readers

Wherever he went in India, photojournalist Sanjay Austa, found people in rural and urban areas devouring the daily newspaper. Even in metros, where a large number of people use public transport. It was a stark contrast to what he had found abroad, in countries like the US, where people preffered reading books.


Forty and Done Aging Sex-Workers, India

Forty and Done Aging Sex-Workers, India

I visited the kothas several times over the years and realized that the moment the sex-workers cross forty they are virtually done for. The clients don’t come to them, their families don’t want them and even the media doesn’t care for their sound bytes anymore. In the red-light districts of India the elderly are relegated to the lowest hierarchy. With no livelihood they are expected to clean, wash and run errands for the younger women in the kothas if they want food and shelter. Most of them suffer from many venereal diseases but they have hardly any money for treatment or medicines.


Gully Cricket. Cricket in our Backyards

Gully Cricket. Cricket in our Backyards

People where playing cricket everywhere. I found young boys play at the spacious backyard of St Peter’s Church in Kanyakumari as I saw them play in a small glade in Kinnaur. I saw fishermen’s children play on the sands of the Coromandal Coast as I saw scull-capped boys bat it out at a madrasa in Bhopal


Gay in India

Gay in India

  (Click on photos to go to gallery) Pictures of the Gay Community in India. Also pictures of the Gay Pride Parades. Not all people in these pictures are homosexuals. Some of them are gay rights activists and  friends and family of gays and lesbians.


From Lost Childhood to Uncertain Future- 1984 anti-Sikh Delhi riots.

From Lost Childhood to Uncertain Future- 1984 anti-Sikh Delhi riots.

They were in their mother’s wombs, few days old , or school going toddlers in 1984 when their fathers, uncles or siblings were butchered in the Delhi anti-Sikh riots which left almost 3000 Sikhs dead. These children were suddenly wrenched out from their snug family setup and hurled into the world of neglect, apathy and abuse.


Maternity Photography, India

Maternity Photography, India

Over the years I have been getting queries on pregnancy shoots from pregnant mothers but did not shoot any until recently. I had been wondering why would anyone need to get oneself shot while pregnant?