This past week my work with Humana People to People India began, and in the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh. This is my first time in the part of the country, and the experience so far has been incredible. The landscape is unlike any other in my travels, and the culture is so different.
For example, the brick factories here are nothing like those in other parts of India. The bricks are produced for use within the communities, rather than mass produced with the labor of those outside of the communities. The tall towers are missing, and both genders work together in unison.
Also, love marriages are the norm in this region rather than the exception. This was quite shocking to my two friends from Rajasthan and Delhi, and a delight for all of us to learn.
So this afternoon we visited one school in Barwani with the help of the foundation of course. Class was in session with about two dozen students when we arrived, just as the school was about to close. We decided to head to the main village and make portraits there.
Thanks to that decision we met this young girl standing under the main tree in the middle of the village. Initially we were to photograph only the foundation's students... but my dear brother Mukesh was able to convince her to be photographed.
She was extremely shy, but was incredibly strong at the same time. Mukesh was able to help her feel comfortable enough to be photographed in front of perhaps three dozen people watching. She let us expose a roll and then stepped aside to let her friends be photographed.
Tomorrow we head back into this community, and I hope that the other girls will have the courage that this young girl possessed today... a true inspiration for me on this trip so far.
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.