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Photo Essays

Narayan Tushar Kaudinya | Home, sky

Srinagar, Kashmir 2011. 3 year old tariq lost his parents to 2009 kashmir riots. He now lives in a care-home on the outskirts of Srinagar. In the same riots, he was hit by a rubber bullet in the eye partially impairing him from his vision.
[A]mong themselves they feel free. Independent but still in a boundary, vulnerable and not sure of a tomorrow. Children are those while you watch them in your most baleful of moods, they still make you smile. However, the essential human truth, pitted against modernity – is invincible. There is a child in the man wanting to go back to the womb. The shadows of a festering burden of the next crop of humans, the unclaimed, unborn, and the just born.

In India, there are 55 million young souls living alone. They are worst affected in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and West Bengal. Having lost either a member or their whole family in bombings, attacks, riots, their amalgam is plagued by continuing terrorism in various forms. India stands first in the world for the rate of the children who are orphaned, affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. The percentage is expected to double in the next five years.

There were times when i was abused and lashed at for making images of the orphaned kids, at times getting allowance on the conditions of not revealing the face, the identity of the kids. I know this photo-essay might not make any difference to the lives of the kids I met but I hope that at least someone somewhere might start thinking to help an abandoned child out around him. These images are a journey into the isolated alleyways that exist between the past and the present and articulate a dreary silence. They are an attempt to paint, sans the romantic moods and character of our globalized imagination. These photographs were taken on offered teaching assignments I undertook in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and West Bengal. This is the void, articulated visually.

Bankura, West Bengal 2011. One of the poorest regions in India, also comes under the red corridor, this silent country care-home has seen many a deaths out of poverty and hunger
Drass, Kashmir 2012. Happiness is a lie, she said. Qalsum lost her parents to a bomb explosion in the 1999 war between India and Pakistan.
Kargil, Ladakh 2011. Girls playing outside shunned shops during a curfew.
Jhargram, West Bengal 2011. Bonku told me that he doesn’t know how to weep, for all the tears were given to his mother, who died crying out of hunger in front of him.
Bihar, India 2012. Buried under a garbage bin, gaurav was rescued by one of the caretakers whom he lives with now. It was learnt that he is infected with HIV
Shopian, Kashmir 2012. Children sleeping in an abandoned building
Bihar, India 2012. Hema, new member in the care home playing with with her caretaker
Jhargram, West Bengal 2011. We love monsoons, they said and ran with open arms embracing wind. Neeta, Meeta and Reshu, the three sisters are HIV+. They never saw their parents. They were left to be eaten by the dogs near a sewage.
Bihar, India 2012. Tilak’s father joined the Naxalite movement even before he was born. He was adopted by a neighbor.
Kargil, Ladakh, 2012. Tamim’s only brother, Feroz, 24, was shot in the head by a tear gas canister, and then, critically ill, was arrested under a draconian law by which, without charge or trial, a Kashmiri can be detained to prevent them from committing a crime in the future. He has ever since lived alone.
Bihar, India 2012. A week ago sumit lost his best friend to rabies. He weighed 24 pounds the day he died.
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  1. WOW!! Simply amazing! The stories you’ve heard and the things you’ve seen must be simply heart-wrenching.

    I hope your work helps connect the people willing to reach out to those children.

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