A Great Divide

Photograph for TIME by Prashant Panjiar / Livewire Images

On full alert: A soldier belonging to India's Border Security Force stands guard at the fence, scanning the Bangladeshi side for trouble

The village of Panidhar is a cluster of 18 mud, brick and bamboo houses in a poor, wet corner of eastern India. Its problems will sound familiar to anyone who has traveled through the country's thick rural darkness. Panidhar's 195 residents live on rice and fish from the surrounding paddy fields and ponds; lucky children get vegetables and lentils, too, but few go to school. The brick factory across the Ichamati River sends boats to fetch a few of the young men; the rest have left for cities many miles away.

An...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!