Circuses are magical places of fun for most children around the world but for thousands of Nepalese kids, circuses are nightmare prisons. They are smuggled into the country with the promise of a future and a monthly stipend of Rs 50 (US$1) from their second year of entry into the business of entertainment. However, they are sold to a life of torture,
severe exploitation and sexual abuse. In reality, they are paid Rs 5-20 per month and are subjected to at least 15-years of torturous regimented training. Every day is a vicious cycle of poor sanitary conditions, restricted movement, meagre food and pay, strict routine and abuse. In truth, the kaleidoscopic clothes, flamboyant make up and the death-defying stunts are a stark contrast against the harsh reality of inhumanity.
This series is a strong statement against children abuse and exploitation of child labour. They are windows to the reality of the poor and destitute in Nepal. It is tragic that these little children, thousands of miles away from their family are forced to spend a lifetime of abuse and poverty with smiles on their faces because the show must go on…

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About the Artist
Born in Tirunelveli, India in 1978, Selva Prakash achieved his Masters in Communication from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, India. He was a staff photographer for Dinamalar, a leading Indian daily newspaper and later, chief photographer for the Dinakaran Tamil Daily. He is now working as a senior photographer for Time Out Bangalore. Selvaprakash’s photography focuses on a wide range of social, political and economic issues in India.