WaterAid India

The WASH Photo Project 2018-19

The entries for the fellowship are now closed. Results to be announced in mid-September.

WaterAid India launches its first ever documentary photography fellowship 2018-19. An opportunity to witness and capture how clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene practices have a positive impact on an individual’s life, and how the lack of it can lead to unimaginable circumstances.

About Water Aid

WaterAid is an international non-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Only by tackling these three essentials in ways that last, can people change their lives for good. Since 1986, WaterAid in India has successfully implemented water, sanitation, and hygiene projects, extending benefits to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities across 11 plus states in India.

WaterAid India strives to make universal access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a reality by 2030, the target year for Sustainable Development Goals.

About the

‘The WASH Photo Project’ is the first ever fellowship in India focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) themes.

A fully funded fellowship, it encourages amateur photographers from educational institutions to participate and document strong, innovative and diverse visual narratives.

With a cross-national coverage, the fellowship aims to explore visual stories on water across India. It also culminates with a photography exhibition on World Water Day (22 March 2019) to give the selected fellows an opportunity to showcase their work.

Theme of the

India is suffering from ‘the worst water crises’ in its history, with about 600 million people facing high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people dying every year dying due to inadequate access to safe water as per the recent Niti Aayog Report.

The lack of access to clean water also imposes a huge financial and health burden on some of the country’s most marginalised sections.

‘The WASH Photo Project’ aims to capture the various issues faced by urban and rural communities when it comes to accessing clean water like walking for miles and spending hours just to access a few buckets of water or the severe health implications of consuming unclean water.

WaterAid India and its partners strive towards making clean water accessible for everyone, everywhere through context specific community-led sustainable solutions. Through field visits, the WASH Photo Project will encourage selected fellows to document the reality on water – the crises and the solutions through the lens of individual and community-led visual narratives. A panel of accomplished documentary photographers will mentor the selected fellows throughout their fellowship period.

Meet the Mentors

Samar Singh Jodha

Samar is a photographer and artist. He has been commissioned by the likes of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BBC World Service Trust and the United Nations, and his work has been published and broadcasted by Nat Geo and Discovery Channel.

Know more…

Prashanth Vishwanathan

Prashanth is a freelance documentary photographer. His work on political activism, visual sociology and news photojournalism has been featured extensively with newswires, newspapers, magazines, non-government organisations, and other feature agencies.

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Paroma Mukherjee

Paroma is a photographer and writer and heads the National Photo Desk at Hindustan Times. Interested in the social and visual landscape of the present, her photographs are a permanent collection at the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan. She has photographed for national and international publications too.

Know more…


Last date to apply
20 August 2018

Selection of Fellows
Mid-September 2018

Fellowship Period
Aug 2018 – March 2019

March 2019

Duration & Funding

The expenses for travel, food and accommodation will be covered by WaterAid India. It is mandatory to produce and submit original bills, tickets and boarding pass for all expenditure incurred during the course of the fellowship.


Media and Communication students and amateur photographers from graduation and post-graduation courses within the age group of 18-30 are eligible to apply. Students from New Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Odisha, and Hyderabad will be preferred.

A good past experience in photography, especially in the social sector will be an added advantage.

Expected Deliverables

  • A docket of at least 50 shortlisted photographs from field visits.
  • Visual narratives to be supported by captions for each photograph.
  • A minimum of five stark photo stories.
  • Induction sessions on the theme of access to clean water by WaterAid India’s expert panel.
  • Photography sessions by professional documentary photographers.
  • Each fellow will be presented with a certificate of appreciation at the end of the fellowship.
  • An opportunity to exhibit at a photography exhibition in New Delhi.

Interested participants should send the following documents and details with their application:

  • A statement of purpose (not more than 200 words).
  • Resume, not more than two pages.
  • At least three samples of recent photography assignments untaken. This should include the details of the photo project, along with captions. Please upload the pictures in a .zip file format, with maximum file upload size as 3MB.
  • Eight fellows will be selected for the final fellowship grant.
  • The fellows will be informed through an email and the names will also be announced on WaterAid India’s website.
  • All applications will be evaluated by WaterAid India as well as the mentors.
  • WaterAid India reserves the right to not award any fellowships if applications do not meet a basic minimum standard.
  • All decisions taken by WaterAid India will be final.

In case of any queries or to apply, send in all the required documents to Ishita Rampal, WaterAid India