Ladli
By Fazal Sheikh
Steidl & Partners £25, 192 pages
FT bookshop price: £20

Picture this

A recent trip to the holy city of Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh, revealed to American photographer Fazal Sheikh the vulnerability of women in traditional Indian society.

In his most recent project, Ladli (meaning “beloved daughter” in Hindi), Sheikh presents a series of soulful portraits of mothers, daughters and midwives alongside their harrowing stories of abuse, rape, abduction and murder.

Soni lives on the streets of Delhi with her sister, Kalawati. Their story makes grim reading. Abandoned by their parents, they wander through the busy traffic selling bundles of flowers for 10 rupees each.

If they are lucky they earn enough money to travel back to their village once a year.

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