Photographer's Note

Pictured here is a 'Panchayat' in session in Roghi village of Kinnaur District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The word 'Panchayat' literally means an assembly of five wise men of the village or small town looking after the welfare and development of the area. It is headed by generally the senior most person called the 'Sarpanch'. Previously they were selected by the village people, but now elections by secret ballot is held every 5 years to elect them. They look after the welfare and development of the area, implement various govt. schemes, settle petty disputes etc. It is the lowest level of local self-government institution in India.

As I was walking through the village I saw these group of people in traditional attire assembled over a roof top. I found it photogenic and clicked a few shots, did not know that a Panchayat session is going on then. As I was doing that the group turned towards me and asked me not to take photos. They called me and explained me about the Panchayat session. I soon apologised and did not take any more photos. But they were very polite and invited me to watch over the proceedings and offered me tea. It was great for me to get a real ring side view of the local life and culture. The green and orange cap is an essential part of Kinnauri attire, I have seen both men and women wearing it. I liked this photo because of various facial expressions I was able to capture on the group.
Hope you like it.

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Additional Photos by Subho Banerjee (Subhogen) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 412 W: 14 N: 908] (4067)
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