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[Photo Essay]

Arrested Development

Among the child police of Chhattisgarh

Ankan Gosai, eight, who joined the Raipur police last April All photographs by Mirzoyan for Harper’s Magazine © The artist

[Photo Essay]

Arrested Development

Among the child police of Chhattisgarh

More than three hundred children are employed by police departments throughout the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. They serve tea, clean offices, and transport files for around 15,000 rupees ($210) a month. Article 24 of the Indian constitution prohibits the use of child labor, but for at least a decade, the Chhattisgarh state government has given jobs to the children of police officers who were killed on duty, arguing that allowing them to work is a form of compassion—a way to help support the families of slain officers. Last summer, the photographer Mirzoyan spent two weeks in Chhattisgarh documenting the work and lives of its child police.

 

Malkit Singh, fourteen, who joined the police when he was eleven

Malkit Singh, fourteen, who joined the police when he was eleven

Hrishabh Anand Gilhare, seventeen, who joined the police when he was six

Hrishabh Anand Gilhare, seventeen, who joined the police when he was six

Aditya Verma, fourteen, who joined the police when he was thirteen

Aditya Verma, fourteen, who joined the police when he was thirteen

Nikhil Bhoi, fifteen, who joined the police when he was thirteen

Nikhil Bhoi, fifteen, who joined the police when he was thirteen

Amit Verma, seventeen, who joined the police when he was sixteen

Amit Verma, seventeen, who joined the police when he was sixteen

Hemkrishna Sahv, twelve, who joined the police when he was eleven

Hemkrishna Sahv, twelve, who joined the police when he was eleven

Anmol Singh Raipur, seventeen, who joined the police when he was five

Anmol Singh Raipur, seventeen, who joined the police when he was five

is a photographer and the founder of the Mirzoyan Photobook Library. He is based in Yerevan, Armenia.
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April 2020