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Photography on Wheels

Documenting India, empowering communities and promoting the art of social documentary photography on an unique mobile van.

Photography on Wheels

A travelling Photo-workshop

Over the course of 12 years, team PPT has extensively traveled the country in search of stories to tell and conduct workshops for communities. These endeavours have been driven by invitations by organisations and collaborations with local artists. Such long term projects require a lot of investment in terms of time and resource. To be able to create a larger footprint across the country and its communities, we are currently experimenting a mobile mode of learning and dissemination. The country is huge and not all can come to a workshop in the city where we are based, or we can’t wait for a project to turn up in a particular region. So we thought, why not take this experiment directly to the people?

Thus was born the idea of “Photography on Wheels” a travelling photo van that will criss cross the length and breadth of this country. Stopping in rural villages, towns and conduct workshops along with local photographers. A model that also helps us document stories in hinterland india and at the same time give back valuable insights and knowledge to upcoming local photographers through participatory workshops. 


The core motive behind the project is to create a platform and a vibrant community around the ideals of social documentary photography for students, teachers, artists and anyone with a keen interest in photography and life in India. The broad objectives of the project are: 

  1. DOCUMENT- To document India and its people. Find unique stories, cover social issues in communities and create a repository of images and videos that define this vast country.
  2. EMPOWER - Introduce the camera as a tool to broaden communication and bridge gaps in comunities.  
  3. EDUCATE - Impart knowledge and provide intellectual resources to budding local photographers, journalists and film-makers. 

Photography on Wheels 2020

1870 KMS

We drove over 1800KMS over 10 days along the beautiful Photography on Wheels

4 Exhibitions

8 open-air exhibitons were installed in various towns for the public.


3000+ People

Over 3000+ people visited and interacted with our exhibitions. 

4 Workshops

We conducted workshops for photography students.

Day 1 of Photography on Wheels, Our first destination was Akola.

Workshop and exhibition by Sudharak Olwe on his work of social issues. Exhibition of artwork and photographs by members of the Secular Art Movement along with PPT Team.

Workshops were conducted in association with Akola/Buldhana Photographers Association and Sony India All the artwork and exhibitions were related on social aspects themes like violence against women, caste atrocities, the lives of sex workers, and malnutrition across India. It was attended by Ms. Archana Mhasane and Mayor of Akola.

Day 3: Dr. Ravindra and Smita Kolhe Residence, Melghat, Amravati

We visited and photographed three tribal villages today - Kolupur Village, Duni Village and Gota Village. We spoke to the villagers about their occupations, lives and challenges (malnutrition amongst children, although the number has come down in the last few years).

The farming techniques and outcomes in these villages, have been greatly improved here under the guidance of the Kolhe family comprising Dr. Ravindra Kolhe, Dr. Smita Kolhe, Ram Kolhe, Rohit Kolhe and Pooja Kolhe.

We saw rice plantations, muskmelon farming (with drip irrigation procedure), and pure, fresh turmeric plantations. We spoke at length with Dr. Ravindra and Dr. Smita Kolhe about their colorful lives and how they transformed an entire village.
We also spoke at length with Rohit Kolhe, their son, who guided us through the farms and helped us understand the minutiae of farming and what goes into growing the food that arrives on our plate.

We would like to thank the Kolhe's for hosting us, sharing their wonderful stories, and giving us the opportunity to learn.

Day 4: Today was a very interesting day with the many villages we visited and the people we met. We visited five villages today - Katunga Village, Harad Village, Bairagad Village, Kobde Shane Village, and India's first digital village Harisal Village. We were welcomed in an eco- friendly manner with a beautiful plant that was then left behind unharmed!

The villages are mainly belong to Gond community. They are known, among other things, for worshipping Ravana's son, Meghnad. We saw a very interesting structure of Meghnad that had been constructed in the Harad Village. In Harisal we spoke to them about the issues of malnutrition that continue to persist there as well as their indifference towards the hype of the "Digital Village" tag (the wifi is only free for the first half an hour, then you have to pay, we will be coming up with a more detailed story on this later!). In Kobde Dhane we stopped to meet one of Dr. Ravindra Kolhe's friends. In Katunga Village, we went to a temple where the Kolhe's helped stop the ritual of animal sacrifice and held an impromptu sketching session with the children! In Bairagad, we exchanged stories over lunch with Mr. Jamshid Khan Ismail Khan, an old friend of Dr. Ravindra Kolhe's.

I am a novice when it comes to the world of photography, so this trip was a mountain of learning experience for me. One thing I learnt is that when you are photographing for such cause, the job is done only when you take your work to the masses and create awareness for the cause. That’s why this initiative by PPT and its team is truly commendable. I am sure these wheels of photography will cover millions of miles and have a considerable effect on many on the way.

Sumedh Shelke


Aman Kanojiya

I enjoyed this trip very much! It is quite a memorable and implement experience for me to have worked with Sudharak Olwe and PPT On Wheels team. This experience reinvigorated my love for photography. I am glad that I could learn many new skills during the trip. Thank you so much, ppt team.

Aman Kanojiya


Day 5 - Amravati. After bidding the Kolhe's goodbye, the PPT team started from Kolupur for Amravati before daybreak. During the drive, we got the opportunity to shoot as the first light of day slowly touched the silent and beautiful scenery of Melghat. On reaching Amravati, we set up an exhibition again of Sudharak Olwe's work and artwork by members of the Secular Art Movement. Again, this exhibition and interaction was a success as it was attended by over thirty photographers from the Amravati Photographers Association, journalists, writers and artists including Vasant Dahake, Prof. Vasant Shende, Dr. M.P. Thorat, Dr. Avinash Sahuji, Sudam Sonule. We had a lively discussion about photojournalism and the artwork displayed. They have invited us in September for a bigger exhibition! We then visited the seasoned sculptor Sahebrao Satarkar at his house. He has had a highly prolific career of almost four decades and the team had the opportunity to shoot him at work in his studio. We then sat with him for an inspiring session about his beginnings as an artist and some of the highlights of his life.
Day 6 of Photography on Wheels: Wani
The Photography Promotion Trust Team today got special permissions to visit the open coal mines under Western Coalfields Limited. We were only allowed to photograph on mobile phones these few pictures so as to preserve the memory because photography there requires many high level clearances.

It was an experience like no other to drive down into the heart of the Earth to witness the massive structures that have existed since time immemorial and will take humanity ages to fully discover.
Day 7: Wani
Today, the PPT team began the day with the people of Mandawa Village in Wani. This village is populated with members of the Gond and Kollum tribes and also comprises Telangis, Pardhans and Kunbis. Our team sat with them to speak about and shoot their biggest issue - water.

After Mandawa, the team went to visit Anand Balsadan, a creche for at-risk-children, mainly the children of female sex workers from informal settlements located in Wani. Here, the children are provided with education, attention, food, clothing and other necessities. We also conducted an art workshop for the kids headed by Surendra Rao to equip them with further mediums of expression.

The last trip to conclude the day was Anandwan, a non-profit established by Baba Amte in 1949 for marginalised people.
Day 8: Chandrapur
Today was Exhibition Day for Photography on Wheels. Our dear friends Mahendra and Namrata Themaskar and their daughter Sawani helped in organising the exhibition along with members of the Kalashrushti group in the Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar Art Gallery here in Chandrapur. Sudharak Olwe's work on manual scavengers, violence against women, oppressed communities, malnutrition and the lives of sex workers in Kamathipura have been displayed along with moving artwork from members of the Secular Art Movement.

The exhibition was inaugurated by I.A.S Dr. Kunal Khemnar, District Collector Chandrapur, among journalists and photographers from the Power City Photography Club of Chandrapur.

First off, we at PPT would like to wish a very happy women's day to all the women who have and continue to shape the future!
Day 9: Chandrapur and Tadoba
Yesterday's exhibition at Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar Art Gallery here in Chandrapur received such a warm and wonderful response that we decided to extend it by a day! Today as well, we met the most inspiring people.

The PPT team also a chance to go on a safari to the Tadoba National Park and as luck would have it we were graced with an exhilarating view of Bajrang (T49), the dominant male tiger of the area lounging and playing under a jamun tree.

We would also like to share a heartfelt note about the exhibition written for us by activist Paromita Goswami. She singlehandedly brought into effect the total ban on liquor in Chandrapur after being approached by a group of women from the working classes who asked her for help.

"Dear Respected Sudharak Bhau, Today is Women's Day. I had to opportunity of starting my day with a visit to your exhibition. The images curve us to confront our common reality, to confront or common shame and collective guilt. We have created and perpetuated the violence and the pain in society, there is no denial of this reality. You're images arouse anger Asianet the injustice and hopefully we shall find a collective way of. Indeed no one is free to everyone is free. I have no words to express the depths of feelings the photos have evoked.
Thank you
Paromita Goswami"
Day 10: Chandrapur
On the last day of Photography on wheels, the PPT team went 250 metres below the earth into the coal mines of Mahakali Colliery, Chandrapur. Led by Mr. Vijay Shankar Tiwari, we went into the deepest part of the mines to understand the process of coal mining and all that goes into retrieving it. We met the workers, learnt about their lives, and experienced for ourselves albeit for a very short period of time the physically and mentally draining work that coal miners do on a daily basis. This coal then goes into the production of electricity, which so many of us use carelessly.

We also met MLA Kishor Jorgevar for breakfast at his house where we met his mother. When he was born, it was difficult for her to make ends meet and she used to weave bamboo baskets to sell in the marketplace. Today, even after the success her son has achieved, she still continues to weave bamboo baskets and sell them in the marketplace out of respect for the work.

This has been an eye opening trip for all of us. With the unique learnings from the exemplary people we have met on the way, we have developed a better understanding about farming, rural issues, wildlife, coal mining, and of course photography. We can all safely say that because of our experience over the last ten days, we are better photographers and human beings. Hope you enjoyed our updates and see you for the next one!


Support and Donate to Photography Promotion Trust. 

As a non-profit, all resources go towards funding workshops and other educational/documentation activities. You can donate any amount to support our different projects or invite us to conduct workshops for you or your institute. We are also looking for long-term funding to mount national projects in communities across the country.