Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Young Girl, Nirvanavan Foundation, Hajipur, Rajasthan, India, November 19, 2008

The portrait was made on November 19, 2008, on the 15th roll of film exposed during the day. We worked near the main school founded by Nirvanavan Foundation, and within the three villages surrounding it. The school is home to over 400 students as of this blog entry, and has official standing within the government framework of elementary schools.

The foundation is doing incredible work within this region, providing quality education to an area otherwise void of such. The children show up every morning for classes filled with enthusiasm. They walk kilometers for the opportunity and show up without breaking a sweat. Almost all have a uniform which they display proudly, and take care of meticulously.

When they return to their homes they return to their chores seamlessly. Watching girls going for water only a few hours after reciting lessons at Advaita Garden was most enlightening and demonstrated the adversity these children face on a daily basis.

Only with the grace of Nirvana and his foundation was I able to walk within these villages freely and photograph with ease. Everyone greeted me with kindness and respect. Whenever we wanted to put our tripod down and work we were allowed. Children followed us everywhere and this made me quite happy. Their enthusiasm and curiosity showed me the best of humanity and were instrumental in helping make the most genuine of portraits.

Happenstance is how this foundation was introduced to me, on my last day while working with Humana People to People just an hour or so away. While it has been a few years since my collaboration with Nirvanavan Foundation, I look forward to a visit later this year and perhaps even some photography.

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Halim Ina Photography