Like the other girls in this post, she also lives in the same village named Kedha. The majority of villagers are farmers and the days are spent ensuring the health of the crops and sustenance for the children.
She used to attend classes three years ago and has been photographed by me several times over a few years. Her teacher is also her cousin, and she has returned to the school with an eagerness than would make teachers stateside deeply satisfied. She is a little older than the other students but this means very little to her. I am both proud and humbled by her strength, and am quite content with the chances provided me for her portrait this year.
The portrait below was made this past Wednesday, on my last day of photography. As a matter of fact, her portrait was the last of the trip. A higher speed film was used (T-Max 400) as the sun was low, and the images are very much anticipated as her eyes gleamed along with her smile with the setting sun. She inspires me.
This school closed in 2010 but these students were never forgotten in my work. The good leaders at Humana People to People India listened to my request to reopen the schools in the area and acted on it even though doing so involved a list of complications. The people of the village, rather than having a bitter taste in their collective mouth due to the closing, greeted us with open arms. This reaction was a breath of fresh air for me as well as the foundation, and more than twenty girls were gathered for classes in less than one week. The previous teacher quit her post in the local private school and accepted this position gladly, and has always had my deepest admiration.
I wish them nothing but the best and look forward to seeing the progress made on my next visit.
Halim Ina Photography