Kolkata, India


Photographer: Sudipto Das

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Mohd Alamgir, 61, dreams of the day when everyone in his home neighbourhood of Darpara can read. That day may not be far off. Thanks in good part to his work over three and a half decades, nine out of ten people in this century-old slum district of central Kolkata are literate, and 8% of its school students, mostly girls, are going on to graduate from universities. Mohd began his career as a school teacher at a government-run school in 1981, straight after completing a law degree. He has remained there ever since, concentrating in particular on teaching girls. A literate mother, he says, will never leave her children uneducated.


Little Rann of Kutch, India


Photographer: Prabha Jayesh

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Little Rann of Kutch, an area of salt marsh in western India’s Gujarat state, is renowned among photographers and tourists for its picturesque white landscapes. But for those who live there, life is hard. In summer, temperatures rise as high as 49 degrees Celsius. In winter, they drop to zero. Scattered across this barren landscape are seventeen schools. Funded by the Gujarat government, attendance is free for their four hundred students. But their facilities are minimal: no electricity, no benches; even drinking water is hard to come by. Finding staff for them is a challenge. Few teachers want to work in such a remote area for a monthly salary of 4,500 rupees (about US$65).

Prabha Jayesh's photo-story won first place in our worldwide open call for submissions.