Delhi's Last Urban Elephants by Delhi photographer Simon de Trey-White
21st August 2014, Yamuna River, New Delhi, India. A bas-relief representation of the Hindu deity Ganesha near a shrine on the banks of the Yamuna River, New Delhi, India on the 21st August 2014. In Hinduism the elephant-headed god Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, is invoked before every new endeavour and is particularly revered by all Hindus.
Elephant handlers (Mahouts) eke out a living in makeshift camps on the banks of the Yamuna River in New Delhi. They survive on a small retainer paid by the elephant owners and by giving rides to passers by. The owners keep all the money from hiring the animals out for religious festivals, events and weddings, they also are involved in the illegal trade of captive elephants.The living conditions and treatment of elephants kept in cities in North India is extremely harsh, the handlers use the banned 'ankush' or bullhook to control the animals through daily beatings, the animals have no proper shelters are forced to walk on burning hot tarmac and stand for hours with their feet chained together.
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