Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wife of Blind Man, Old Delhi, India, 2006

So here we are sitting in a medical clinic in Old Delhi. The man next to me asks of my purpose. My answer is reflexive, having answered this question countless times just this past week and on many previous visits to other countries.

He looks puzzled and asks once again, clearly sharing with me his desire to hear something different. I then ask him his thoughts on my photography. He tells me that the photographs can be sold and money can then be sent back to the people.

To make his point, we walk outside, one block down and then down an alley into an open air market. We pass a man laying to the right of the alley covered with debris and flies. We see children walking around with nothing on their feet, covered with dirt. We see a mass of people sitting next to their produce baking in the sun.

We stop and he tells me to pick a few faces to photograph. To tell you the truth, I am a bit shocked. The scene is chaotic and in the middle of the chaos he wants me to put my tripod down and pick some faces. Regardless, I select a few faces and they are asked to be photographed, including the older woman above. Her husband is blind and they both agree to be photographed.

We spent about thirty minutes doing so and everyone cooperates graciously. It happens that all of these folks know this man and his foundation, the very foundation that runs the free medical clinic one block away. The give us their portraits because they know that the medical clinic is there for them, regardless of their inability to pay for any services. He is a good man and his foundation a blessing for them.

We walk back into the clinic and my answer has been hit by a revolution. The next time someone asks my purpose, they will hear something different.

All of these images are for sale on my website and will benefit the people involved.

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