Crawling in a 'polio-free' country

Story highlights

  • In March of last year, it was announced that polio had been eradicated in India
  • Photographer Elena del Estal couldn't help but wonder about those already living with the disease

(CNN)Imagine sitting on a dusty, busy street in New Delhi, crowded with vendors and people running quickly about the market. A woman's lapis-colored sari swishes past you in the golden-colored dusk. You've been here since morning.

A tourist extends a hand with a crumpled paper bill. You try to lift your hand to accept, but you can't. The muscles are paralyzed, and your mind can't command them to move. You use your knee to balance your arm and grasp the rupee. Then you use your foot to pick up your bag and head home for the day.
This is everyday life for Bipin Kumar. Kumar, known as BK, contracted polio as a child, and he has learned to adapt to how he moves and lives. Kumar has no brothers or father to provide for him, so he moved to New Delhi 10 years ago to pursue the only means of income he could -- begging on the streets.