1947 Partition - A Suffering Mother Crying At A Refugee Camp

F.E. Chaudhrycirca. 1947

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

Women of 1947 Partition of Indian subcontinent.

The suffering of a mother: a young mother in a destitute state after being unable to feed her child in Boli Camp, Lahore.

Although the reason for the loss is unknown, it was not uncommon for parents to lose their children to disease, violence or abduction. Young children also often lost their parents and loved ones.

These women were in a setting where the societal norms looked down upon them exposing their bodies. Thus, these women showing their body parts is suggestive of the pain they went through: they were in a state where the societal norms ceased to matter.

They were mistreated during their journey and often arrived at the camps after being molested. Often the perpetrators would mutilate women after molesting them. They would cut them up, often slicing off their breasts.

Women were among the worst affected victims of Partition. The chaos and displacement made them especially vulnerable. They were molested, tortured and kidnapped. Many of the abducted women were forcefully converted to the abductors' religion, who also often married them against their will. There are several accounts of women and girls giving up their own lives by jumping into wells, preferring that fate than what awaited otherwise.

This image is from the collection of F.E. Chaudhry, the only known local Pakistani photographer who captured the events at the time.

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  • Title: 1947 Partition - A Suffering Mother Crying At A Refugee Camp
  • Creator: F.E. Chaudhry
  • Date Created: circa. 1947
  • Subject Keywords: 1947 Partition of Indian Subcontinent, Women of Partition, Migration, Refugees, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Type: Photograph
  • Rights: Copyright © 2017 by Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP). All rights reserved. No part of this image may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including copying, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP). This image was donated by F.E. Chaudhry to CAP.