Walk; collaborative project with Aditya Narula
Love the mural!
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Love the mural!
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A mother and child, outside two neighbouring NGO charity buildings in a slum area, one helps differently-abled people, the other provides extra education for children from the slums called Project Why and is who I work for. While taking a group of students from the charity on a photography project, one youngster spotted this lady and her son and asked to take their photo. Without a change of expression or moving or posing, a little wobble of the head signaled it was alright, they looked into the youngster’s camera and he got the shot of the day, while I captured the moment from aside. I love the serious expression on the lady’s face, it asks a story to be told of why so, what has happened to make you not smile, to frown so? As I continued to watch the lady I realized her expression wasn’t sadness or sorrow, though certainly she has known hardship, it is actually one of serene amusement, of pride, of reserve, a moment later her son was laughing and playing, this was just a fleeting moment but beautiful and rewarding to capture.
Very poignant shot, hard to tell what they are thinking without your words.
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And here is a video from Project Why
This is heart breaking, God bless these 2 guys, Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Laxmi Chandra. They’ve been running a free school under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India for the last 3 years. There is at least 30 children living in the nearby slums that have been receiving free education from these 2 guys.
Heartbreaking, but also inspiring, these teachers and kids are true heroes!
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Preeti, a victim of Polio at an early age, can only walk on her haunches by moving her feet with her hands. Nevertheless, she rarely accepts any help and is quite clever too, with an ability and a willingness to learn that is quite extraordinary. There is a possibility she might be able to pass the school leaving exam and so have the certificate she would need to get a job. Otherwise, she would stand no chance of employment at all. To do this, she needs to learn a great amount. Not least, to be able to know her way round a computer; something totally unavailable to her living where she does, amongst the slum huts. No family there can afford a computer and certainly there would be no internet connection. One skill very useful to her would be being able to type proficiently, at speed and accurately; an added asset if she were to apply for employment and also enhance any time she spent on the computer while at the Project Why NGO class.
So a pet project has begun to teach Preeti to touch type and also for this one-finger typist to learn along with her. Finding and downloading free software was the initial task as we cannot afford to buy expensive programmes at the charity. The first attempt ended on lesson three, as the supposed ‘freeware’ ended there, with pop ups to buy any further use but the second attempt, with Typefast, is proving much better and really free. Preeti took to learning touch-typing quickly and vastly outpaced her tutor, who has been left in her wake, such is her ability to learn, her dedication and her concentration. Her pace of learning is astonishing and she usually has only to be shown something once to have learned it and remember it days later.
Very best wishes for her!
Somewhere Not Over The Rainbow
While working for Project Why, an NGO charity school that educates children from the slums, I went to pick some of the kids up from their homes in a slum area called Okhla, in New Delhi, to take them to school. This is a sister of one of the kids at the project outside their home, which is a shack. An extraordinary place and I got so many amazing photos, all of which tell a story, that is until three older teenagers took exception to me and told me not to take any more – no problem just that’s enough, this is private. The kids live in makeshift shacks in nothing more than the space behind factory units, dirty, dusty, cramped, without sewers or running water but with a little electricity from strung lines of cable laying across the roofs that is probably elicit electric. Large families sharing a single room, cooking outside, washing outside, toilet outside, living outside. We picked the kids up in a three-wheeler auto-rickshaw, and after three stops there were fifteen kids and two adults fitted into a space that is normally cramped for three small adults. With kids on laps, standing, sitting, stood on parcel shelf, in sweltering heat it was my job to make sure they didn’t fall out the open side but I needn’t have worried as they were all far more used to it than I am and all behave perfectly being quiet, not arguing or pushing. I dread to think what most kids back home in England would be like crammed into the same space for 20 minutes.
It was a joy to be with the little kids who love to shout hello loudly, as group, whenever they see me. Even though they come from such a difficult place to live, have a very hard life and are below the poverty line, they are always laughing and smiling and bring a warmth to the heart that lingers long after they have gone back home to their little shacks.
Great story and cause!
It’s funny how you can miss even the hardest times. I guess when they are over, they just become part of your collection of adventures. I’m craving to create more.
Leaving New Delhi, Sept. 2012.
Really great photo!
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As our coach, full of British students, stopped at a traffic light, these three children started waving at us. When we waved back, they were so happy that they did a joyous dance for us!
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We returned to New Delhi for our connecting train to Varanasi, but neglected to notice that Delhi has multiple rail stations and figured this out too late (we thought) to make our train. After hours in the station’s tourist bureau queuing to book a new ticket, we had to stop an extra night in Delhi at the expense of time in Varanasi. We toyed with the idea of skipping the other two cities (the second being Kolkata) and going straight to sleepy Darjeeling, but chose to stick with the plan despite the inconveniences.
It did give us more time to see the sights though, and we went to see Delhi’s famous Red Fort.
Looking pretty happy!
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Here’s one I shot yesterday at the Sikh temple in New Delhi. It’s all inlaid marble and guys in funny hats.
Funny hats indeed!
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