It was three years ago when I got connected with an NGO in Jaipur. They were on a lookout for a photographer who could volunteer for photography of their establishment in Achrol. I was keen on this project and after a brief meeting with the director, I began to carry out this project.
I visited their campus a couple of times which is 50 km away from Jaipur. My first-weekend visit in the month of May turned out to be futile because of a sandstorm. This month witness lots of sandstorms and it gets worse in areas like Achrol & vicinity with lots of barren lands.
In an interaction, I asked if all the kids were orphans? A few are, rest are abandoned, destitute and poor kids from the vicinity replied the manager. The NGO calls their facility a children’s village. They have a school on their campus, which includes both the ones living on their campus as well as the ones living in surrounding villages. The kids are given computer lessons which imply they are adequately trained for the future.
Many volunteers from across the globe stay on the campus for months & contribute in all ways possible beyond money. A few teach kids, others develop infrastructure. The NGO maintains an association with many agencies across the world who assists them by finding donors and volunteers.
In this blog, I’m sharing limited information with pictures I clicked in 2016 along with information about some of the kids. This was not a staged photo shoot. The kids were engaged in their routine chores and I captured them candidly.
Name – B
Age- 6 years
B lost his parents and was living with his maternal uncle, a truck driver. Because of constant travel, his uncle brought him to this institution. He underwent a challenging time settling here because he was attached to his uncle. B is a clever & cocky kid as well as a proven prankster. He is a purple belt holder in Karate.
Age- 10 years
She was brought to this NGO when she was 8 years old by her mother because her father was an unemployed alcoholic. Fearing N might fall into bad company, her mother decided to bring her here. N is friendly, sweet, and obedient. With a brown belt in karate, her dream is to travel to Australia some day.
Name – N
Age – 12 years
A sports enthusiast who excels in studies too. N is a fast learner and a highly motivated child.
Age- 6 years
Out of three, two siblings S and sister P (mentioned in this blog) were admitted here when their mother succumbed. Their father, a daily wage earner on finding it difficult to manage kids, brought them here.
Age- 7 years
P loves math and looks forward to the classes conducted by Ms. Cindy from California. P wants to be a dancer when she grows up; she enjoys music classes.
The kids in action in karate classes.
There’s so much that these faces hide and how little do we know.
I hope they all take on the world with their might escaping their difficult past.
For some reason, I felt confidence shines among these kids.
B is one such kid. This is a unique picture where I invited a kid to pose for a picture; his confidence is evident. Isn’t it?
This is not a sponsored post.
There is a reason why I have chosen to name this post-The Resilient Childhood. Childhood is marked with innocence and dreams. It is like a blank canvas where an artist draws or paints. These kids are extraordinary because they have undergone hard times yet they have so much resilience.
Is it possible to contribute to shaping their future in some way? Feel free to get in touch with them via email – firstname.lastname@example.org