Posts Tagged ‘India’

I am back to India for the forth time. Between commercial and fashion shootings I dedicate some time shooting reportage, my aged passion. How can you avoid shooting people and festival once you are here?

Last week Hindus celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’, celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.

Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate of them, especially in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’.

For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idol to the river to immerse it.

In India again.

Posted: January 14, 2012 in India
Tags: , , , ,

On 5th November, 2011 I left again to India, this time not for a documentary project but for a wedding, yes shooting  a real Indian wedding. The experience was amazing, but shooting portraits of people on the street is still the most exciting  photography I take when I am in India.

It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.

-Richard Avedon

I was in India in 2009 and once I got there I promised to myself to see what I always have been watching or listening about leprosy in India. Then I decided to visit Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital in Kolkata which specialized in leprosy and the experience was the strongest in all my trip.

Leprosy is a disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. This bacterium affects the body’s nervous system, concentrating on the cooler parts of the body. Affected areas are skin, eyes, and muscles in the hands and feet. There are two different initial reactions to the disease; some people develop clearly defined pale skin patches indicating the bacterium is isolated in one area. In more extreme cases where the patient has no resistance to the disease, there is very little definition between the patches and the healthy skin. With this type of case, it is much more difficult to detect the disease in its early stages.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms only get worse: numbness in hands and feet make the patient vulnerable to cuts and infections that can’t be felt, stiffened muscles cause clawed hands, loss of the blinking reflex leads to total blindness, and in some cases amputation of fingers, an arm or leg is necessary.
Leprosy is thought to be infectious, transmitted through airborne droplets, such as when someone sneezes or coughs. But most people – about 95% of the population – are naturally immune. Yet there are over 1,100 new cases detected every day.
People who contract leprosy are affected both physically and socially. This disease has been around since Biblical times and the myths, fear and stigma surrounding it still remain strong. From small children to older adults, people with leprosy are ostracized, shamed and forced out of their communities and homes. The person with the disease is usually so humiliated and frightened they go into hiding, failing to get treatment as the disease worsens.

Over the last 20 years, TLMC (The Leprosy Mission Canada) has been working to decrease the prevalence of leprosy in Kolkata, India through providing care at Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital. This community based hospital cares for leprosy complications, deformity prevention and surgical correction of deformation. It is the only hospital in Kolkata that focuses on the prevention and correction of deformity and rehabilitation of leprosy patients.
While much has been done, many major challenges still exist. A large number of patients have deformities and disabilities. Many of these patients simply cannot afford investigations and treatment elsewhere for associated illnesses such as severe anemia, tuberculosis and diabetes. Many are uneducated and live in poor conditions in communities that still impose stigma against those with leprosy.

The Leprosy Mission helps leprosy patients find solutions to physical problems faced because of their disease. By providing out-patient services in dermatology, ophthalmology and surgery, more patients will receive help for their physical ailments.

In addition to providing treatment, the Leprosy Mission is also focusing on increasing awareness and knowledge of leprosy in the medical community. A team of professionals with a greater depth of knowledge in the field of leprosy will allow for better care for those affected by leprosy.
The Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital is providing an essential service to those in Kolkata with leprosy. It is our hope that men and women with leprosy can receive the care they need to look to the future with optimism.

In 2009 I travelled more than 3 months in India and Nepal to document the situation of the Tibetan refugees after 50 years the Dalai Lama was the first Tibetan escaped from Tibet to India. I would like to show some pictures taken in Tibetan schools in Indi a. This is only one chapter of a wider reportage which cover Tibetan hospital, settlement, old people homes, buddhist monasteries.

From its humble beginning forty nine years ago, Tibetan Children’s Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with about 17000 children under its care. The Mission of Tibetan Children’s Villages (TCV) – an integrated charitable organization – is to ensure that all Tibetan children under its care receive a sound education, a firm cultural identity and become self-reliant and contributing members of the Tibetan community and the world at large. TCV provide parental care and love, develop a sound understanding of Tibetan identity and culture, provide effective modern and Tibetan education, child -centered learning atmosphere in the schools, environment for physical and intellectual growth, suitable and effective life and career guidance for social and citizenship skills.
At the request of H.H the Dalai Lama, the Government of India, in 1961, established the Tibetan Schools Society (now called Central Tibetan Schools Administration), an autonomous body regulated by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, to manage and assist schools in India for the education of the children of Tibetan refugees. There are 28 CTSA schools whose enrolment is currently about 10000 students.

In India they are two main education institutions for Tibetan refugees, TCV, Tibetan Children’s Village and the Central Tibetan Schools Administration. But they are also several monastic schools and universities spread in the 39 refugee settlement in India.

 

Last year I was travelling in India. After leaving Kolkata I went by train to the State of Orissa in Puri.

Puri is one of the biggest pilgrimage centres in India situated on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal in the State of Orissa. What attracts many people is the life that revolves around the fisherman village. A genuine settlement close to the beach where the fishermen live with their families. Orissa, India. 11/11/2009.

The shore is full of boats parked alongside one another. At sunset, some fishermen prepare nets beneath the sails of blue still on the floor that gives shelter from the blazing sun. Many children run on the beach and play. Some women wear on their head a basket full of fish walking on the seashore. Many people gather around the fish brought in from the boats and deposited on the sheeting. Prawns, king fish, mackerels, crab, tuna, silver fish and many others are ready to be sold to the highest bidder.

At dawn the village is already in full swing. They take the fish caught at night that are preserved by ice, the women take it from the tarps and put it in baskets. Others are engaged in cooking, washing clothes or cleaning. In front of the village, rubbish heaps rise on the beach and birds, dogs and pigs find food to eat. The crows are based on structures of wood and contemplate the sea.

Fishermen use the beach as toilet. The shoreline is full of human faeces and the smell is stronger than that of fish.
Towards the horizont they are many fishing boats, the sky is cloudy, dark grey and the sun’s rays penetrate through, forming a halo that illuminates the boats.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.