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Future for a Fisher Folk?



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15 year-old Karthick

 Karthick sits in front of me, a shy fifteen-year-old whose dark, bright eyes are fixed on the floor. Karthick came to see me so that you, dear Reader, can have a glimpse into his past and maybe even become a part of his future. You see, Karthick longs to do something important with his life, and he knows that having an education can open up a whole new world for him. He came to Chennai to study a House Electrician Course that is offered by IID Community Colleges. He has already made a few friends in the college and loves being there among so many other young people. However, there is a problem.

Karthick, with a friend from the Community College
Karthick hails from a small village near Tada, Andhra Pradesh, and he and his family belong to a community of fisher folk. This small village is situated in the bay area of the Pulicat Lake, and it is a very poor community. Basic medical facilities are not available, and to go to a hospital, the people in this community need to travel at least an hour by boat. Karthick himself traveled one and a half hours by boat each way to attend school. During the monsoon season, the whole community needs to be housed in government run facilities as the area in which they live is usually completely flooded.

Both his parents fish for a living in the rivers close to where they live. Sometimes they leave for months at a time, leaving Karthick and his three older sisters to take care of themselves while his mother and father earn money for the family. Whenever they catch enough fish to save a decent amount of money, they return home again. Sometimes they return home exhausted and drained after being away from home for weeks at a time, but with only just enough money to get by. Karthick and his family have had to go without food for many meals, as they just didn’t have enough money. In spite of the unpredictable situation at home, the long distance to and from school, the displacement of their community every monsoon and the poverty-stricken situation of his parents, Karthick was able to study and complete his Tenth Standard in a government-run school. However, if Karthick were to depend on his parents for his education, the future looks very bleak for him.

Both his parents fish for living and are sometimes gone for months at a time, leaving Karthik and his three sisters to take care of themselves.
 

So here he was, a young man ready to do something with his future but not able to study because his family cannot afford to send him to College. When I ask him why he wants to join IID Community College, Karthick says that because he is the only male child in his family, he wants to be able to study and get a job where he will earn well and take care of his family, and in the future, he wants to be able to help others who are in similar situations as him. When we first started talking, Karthick’s eyes hardly left the floor, but as we continued talking about what he wanted to do with his life, even though he was still shy, his eyes were filled with longing and hope, knowing that studying in IID could change his future.

So now, dear Reader, you know a little bit about Karthick. However, more importantly, if you do feel like you want to help change the course of his future, then please do get in touch with us at IID Community Colleges.  A little support can achieve much.  

There are many other young men and women like Karthick who would appreciate your support. Do get in touch with IIDA (email address below)for further details. 


  •  Help us raise his 1 year course cost: 12 x INR 3,500 (EUR 50/CHF 60/USD 63)
  • Help with any one time donation
  • Email us: support@iida-india.org
  • If you wish you can correspond directly with Karthick through above Email ID;
  • Our staff will print and forward your message and send his reply.

     Thank you very much on behalf of Karthick and his family!

Beauty Beyond Colour



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The following pictures were taken for the Dark Is Beautiful Campaign, for an article that Kavita Emmanuel, the Director of Women of Worth (WOW), wrote for the The Weekend Leader.com. 

The boys were in high spirits and it was a fun challenge to try and get their pictures for this campaign. We were trying to convey the idea that beauty is beyond colour - that no matter what your skin colour is, it shouldn't make a difference to WHO you are. The amazing thing about kids is that colour, size or language don't affect them. Our kids are the next generation. What are we going to do about the future of this country? How can I make a difference? One way is through teaching my son good values - and it is hard, believe me, to be consistent in teaching your children. It means that I have to be consistent! Ack! Most times it is easy to tell my son to do something, but when he decides not to listen to me or finds it difficult to do what I ask him to do, then its up to me to help him or to be consistent with him. Its especially difficult when I'm out or when people are around, and I have to be consistent in guiding him or disciplining him - NO MATTER what the others around me think!

When it comes to making our children think differently about skin colour and different prejudices in society, WE might face discomfort or contempt from our peers. How are WE going to handle it? Do we believe in these issues strong enough to face some challenges? Let us make a difference. Let's BE the change. Not just be supporters of change, but MAKE a difference. These are 'action words' - it may require us to get out of our 'comfort zone', but if that is what it takes to make this country a more tolerant country, then let's do it!

Ok, so that was my passionate outburst :) Here are some pictures for you to look through.







Taran's older sister Diya was a big help in entertaining the boys and getting them to look at the camera - so I've included a few of her pictures as well. Kids can teach us so much about having fun together, and not caring about WHO we are or WHAT we look like, but just to ACCEPT each other as we are!


Let me know your thoughts! 

Zara : Baby Portrait



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It looks like my recent posts have been about couples, so here is a post to break the trend :) Here you will see some pictures from a recent baby shoot of little Zara. You will in fact, be seeing more pictures of her - I also did Zara's three month photo shoot - this is her 7 month shoot - and you will probably more photos until she turns 1 :)

Zara is such a cutie pie. When I went to meet her for the first time, at her 3 month shoot, Zara didn't trust my camera too much - she observed the camera curiously, but didn't feel comfortable enough to smile at this black, noisy machine that was intruding her peaceful life! This time, however, at Zara's 7 month photo shoot, she was much more relaxed and was a treat to photograph. She allowed us to change her so many times without too much of a fuss.Zara had a little nap and a bite to eat in-between the shots, so she was quite content for most of the shoot.

I look forward to photographing her and watching her grow and develop. She is a fun baby, and has lovely parents! We had a good time at this shoot together - I must also say thanks to Zara's grandma for helping to bring a smile on Zara's face for the photos :)






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