Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 23
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Locals praying to God at a mosque in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The chitmahal claims that the enclave dwellers consists of members from both Hindu and Muslim community where the Muslims are the majority.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 22
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A baby girl gets fed by her mother and elder sister at Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Life in the enclaves is really tough as most of the daily resources are to be brought from either India or Bangladesh where they are mostly threatened because of having no nationality.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 21
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A room filled with live-stocks goats and lambs inside a house in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The cattle's are considered to play a vital role in the enclaves for a living, similar to any other village in India or Bangladesh but here they often get stolen by people from the neighboring mainland villages as the local cops paid no attention to the complains made by the enclave people as they had no nationality, but know as the hope for nationality is no longer a dream to them the locals say that the cops are giving importance to them now.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 20
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Joynal Abedin, a local young guy, walks out of his house in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. In the enclaves houses are mostly built with aluminum sheets as they fear that the neighboring villages might attack them by burning their houses to grasp the land as it has happened many a times in the past.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 19
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Three men fishing at the river after which the enclave got its name Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Fishing in chitmahal remains as one of the major professions of the residents and also serves their daily meal needs.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 18
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Children outside their houses in the afternoon playing at Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Health issues and malnutrition are a big problem for the children in the chitmahals as there are no health facilities.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 16
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Jihad Hussain, a 5 year old boy with his father Shahjahan Seikh and mother Asma Bibi out side a mosque at Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Jihad Hussain is one of the most famous personalities in the chitmahals due to extensive local media coverage as his parents faced a lot of problems during his birth because of the lack of identity and nationality.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 15
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Jihad Hussain, a 5 year old boy with his father Shahjahan Seikh and mother Asma Bibi out side a mosque at Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Jihad Hussain is one of the most famous personalities in the chitmahals due to extensive local media coverage as his parents faced a lot of problems during his birth because of the lack of identity and nationality.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 14
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A family in Mashaldanga Chitt preparing for their daughters wedding. Marriages are a big problem as because of less number of women in the chitts and no nationality proves led to a lot of rejections of grooms who tried to marry women from across the Indian Mainland.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 13
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Rufiya, a 12 year old bride on her wedding day in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Child marriages are pretty normal in the Chitmahals.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 12
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Children at a stationary shop in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The future of the children in the chitmahals remains uncertain because of the lack of schools in chitmahal, there are only a few pathshalas (village moderated schools without any board). As a result of this the parents of the chitmahals often send their children to better schools in the Indian mainland with the help of fake parental documents made in exchange of money in order to admit their children and to provide them a better future.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 11
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A woman cutting vegetables for cooking lunch while his son plays beside her at Masaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 10
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Mina Khatun, a 10 year old girl studying at home with the help of a fire lamp as there is no electricity in the enclaves at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 09
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

An 8 year old boy drives a farming cart in the rain while two of his friends play in the surroundings at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 08
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A group of youngsters fishing beside a road in the rain with traditional methods at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Farming and laboring in building construction are the major occupation of the young. The scarcity of jobs leads to changing of states and the youngsters often go to the Indian capital New Delhi in search of laboring opportunities mostly in building constructions. Many a times they have had trouble in traveling to the Indian capital as well, because of the identity checking procedures inside the trains by the railway officers.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 07
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Cell phone batteries getting recharged at a pumping station due to no electricity at home in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 06
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A group of children recharging their cell phones at a pumping station due to no electricity at home in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 02
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Two women walk freely with joy and smile at their faces in the rain at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. The fear of having no nationality no longer bothers them as they are relieved from the identity crisis which they had for so long due to the initiatives taken by both the countries India and Bangladesh to solve the matter.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 01
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of women at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India, standing with their unclear shadows falling on the ground after a heavy rainfall, as for the last four decades they were neither accepted by Bangladesh nor India. Life was tough for them with no identity proves and no nationality.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 17
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of women who have had miscarriages in the past, at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Women in the enclaves have often had miscarriages due to the lack of health facilities, they usually go to the nearby Indian mainland hospitals/clinics for their health issues but most of the time they used to get rejected by the hospital officials as they had no identity prove, in India for a child birth the parents should have their national identity in order to create a birth certificate of their child which was not possible as a result the success rate in child birth occurred late in in a huge number of families.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 05
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 04
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 03
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

Thumb sm
Chitmahal Enclave 24
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of children celebrate by waving the national flag of India at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.