The World as I see: Life in Bengaluru slums
Life in Bengaluru slums – Bal-Save The Children Today, Raksha Bharat launched a photobook that captures the world through the eyes of teenage children from Bengaluru’s waste-picker community. Images captured by these children reflect their perspective of the world they live in and helped them understand civic infrastructure, social and economic issues they face. They were trained in a 2-day photojournalism workshop in December 2021 under the H&M Foundation-funded Saamuhika Shakti project of Save the Children. These photographs were assembled into a photobook and handed to the Karnataka Department of Women and Child Development.
“We are thrilled to see this initiative and think this a very scalable concept, and this should not be limited to a few youngsters,” Priyanka Mary Francis I.A.S., Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Karnataka, stated at the launch of the photobook. I’d like to see Save the Children expand this initiative. In a city like Bengaluru, where several constraints impede access to these slums, it’s also critical to involve the community in finding solutions. The community should begin to demand remedies from the government by recognizing the problem and possible solutions and banding together, like with the Saamuhika Shakti initiative. It is more sustainable when a solution emerges from the community. The department is prepared to assist with administrative matters.
The project, which is supported by the Department of Women and Child Development, focuses on the educational needs and healthy lives of children from waste-picking families. Children learned about their rights as a result of this workshop exposure. The project aims to provide a conducive learning environment for 9300+ most marginalized children (3-18 years) from waste-picker and marginal households in Bengaluru.
Life in Bengaluru slums
Maria Bystedt, H&M Foundation Strategy Lead, stated, “This workshop allowed the kids to not only learn about photography, but also to show us issues that they are concerned about. As adults, we should examine these images and consider how we might work with the children to address these concerns and involve them in community betterment.”
“The children in waste-picker communities have to struggle with extreme poverty, bad living conditions, and a lack of opportunities for expression,” said Jatin Mondar, Hub Lead – South, Save the Children. For youngsters, photography offers a glimpse of hope in terms of exercising their right to play, culture, and the arts. Save the Children’s Saamuhika Shakti project, which is financed by the H&M Foundation, involves waste-pickers in developing and implementing programmes to improve the lives of children from such households.”
Water is scarce in Jyothipura, near Ramamurthy Nagar, where Ritesh A dwells. He was one of the workshop participants. People line up at the communal water taps to get their bi-weekly quota in his images. A young boy is hard at work chopping wood in another photograph, and there are no humans in the third photograph, only a vast pile of waste. This is his Bengaluru, which is short on water and overflowing with garbage. “These two days have taught me so much,” Ritesh says. “I photographed houses without toilets.” “I’ve also photographed folks struggling to get water from taps.” Water is delivered twice a week here.”
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