Struggle of the Working Poor, China & India.

Above: Second Place Winner — “Fishing with a Net” by Liming Cao of China; Fishermen fish with nets early in the morning. They sell fish at the market to make a living.
by Kristine Mitchell.
The annual Photography Competition hosted by CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) aims to draw attention to the ways that financial inclusion can improve the lives of the poor.
For many of us, banking is easy: swiping a card or making payments online and with our smartphones.
Yet, a reported two billion people worldwide lack access to these basic services, surviving on the fringe of the financial system without access to formal banking.
The CGAP photo contest highlights the faces and resilience of the working poor, and aims to demonstrate how creating accessible financial services can improve lives by “spurring innovations and advancing knowledge and providing solutions that promote responsible, sustainable, financial markets.
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Grand Prize Winner — “Paddy Cultivation” by Sujan Sarkar of India; Rice is the staple food of West Bengal, India. Men, women and even children take part in paddy cultivation.
See more Images via Winners of CGAP Photo Competition Showcase Struggles and Successes of the Working Poor – My Modern Met

The Coldest Village On Earth, Oymyakon.

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If you think that winter has already come to your city, pictures from Oymyakon, the coldest village on Earth, might change your mind. With the lowest temperature of -67.7°C (-90°F), recorded in 1933, and the average for January being -50°C (-60°F), this village is the coldest permanently inhabited place on this planet.
oymyakon-Amos-Chapple-topNew Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple decided to go on a two-day journey from Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth, to capture what everyday life is like in Oymyakon.
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“I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into – 47 °C (-52°F).
I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips”, the photographer told to weather.com.
The photographer recalls that the hardest thing was not the cold itself, but that his camera’s focus and zoom rings would occasionally freeze in place.
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More info:
http://goo.gl/UhIFoP
See more Images via Photographer Travels From Yakutsk To Oymyakon, The Coldest Village On Earth | Bored Panda.

Morning Cloud over Huangshan Falls.

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Image Credit: Photograph by thierry bornier.
I captured this image in the early morning in the Yellow Mountains, China. Behind this image there is a story.
I was climbing at 3 am to reach the waterfall, when as I arrived I could see in the dark the cloudy image surrounding the Huangshan Falls.
My hope was at sunrise this beautiful effect of nature would still stand in front of me .
Luckily at 6.30 am the image I wanted was still there.
This time I took the shot before it disappeared completely a few minutes later.
Source: Huangshan Falls Photo by thierry bornier — National Geographic Your Shot

The Invisible Men of Mount Everest.

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These are times of crucial change for Sherpa culture, and in particular for the subculture of the Sherpa climbing community.
Since Sherpas first were hired away from their potato farms to carry loads for an expedition in 1907, Sherpa culture has arguably been more influenced by the Western passion for mountaineering than by any other single force.
In less than a century, they have come from wondering about the sanity of the mikaru, their term for foreign climbers, to being among the best mountaineers in the world themselves.
Sherpas hold speed records on Everest. They work as guides on Denali and Mount Rainier. In 2012, Mingma and Chhang Dawa Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks became the first two brothers to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter (26,000-foot) peaks.
It’s hard to imagine that the Sherpa porters on the British expeditions to the Tibet side of Everest in the 1920s did not even have a word for “summit.”
Instead, they were convinced, as Wade Davis notes in his book Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, that the foreigners were treasure hunters searching for a statue of a golden cow or yak to melt down for coins.

Life in the Frozen State of Transnistria.

9536d6c0-f6d4-4eec-9dd9-fb55975abaa4-2060x1368Life in the frozen state has taken its toll on the population and numbers are declining rapidly. Officially from 750,000 to 500,000 since independence, and unofficially to 300,000.
Image Credit: Photograph: Anton Polyakov.
Transnistrian-born photographer Anton Polyakov captures daily life in the pro-Russian territory that declared independence from Moldova in 1990, but remains unrecognised by most of the world.

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The economy is also in freefall. Their agreement to trade with the EU independently of Moldova is about to expire and the future is uncertain.
Recent reports say Russia has denied $100m in requested funds to the breakaway territory.
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One of the central districts in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria. Photograph: Anton Polyakov.
See more Images via Inside Transnistria, the breakaway nation loyal to Russia – in pictures | World news | The Guardian.