Archive for courage

A life of Bravery

Posted in Hijras of India with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Nothing’s more important than having the bravery to live your life”.
(“Daily Inspiration” by Robin Sharma)

This is a portrait of Sunita which I took a few days ago inside her house in a little city located nearby Varanasi (Benaras) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Sunita thinks that she is around 65 years old but she is sure that she joined an hijra community when she was 12.
She was born in a poor Muslim family from the state of Bihar.
As she was still very young she understood that being an hermaphrodite wouldn’t allow her to live a life like ordinary people, she wasn’t a boy neither a girl.
So she happily decided to become an hijra, it was her will then and she has been learning from a guru (teacher) how to perform for weddings and new born babies.
Today she became a guru herself and she introduced me to Shushila, an Hindu hijra who stays at her side and who will become the guru when she dies.
It is nice to see that in this community Muslims and Hindus are living together and respecting their beliefs, their religion.
They are also called to any Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Jain family’s functions in the city, and even Christians call them for Christmas.
A few months back Sunita went to Mecca, on the pictures she showed me she shaved her hair and dressed like any male pilgrim.
She saved money all her life in order to stay there for two months, she says that she is not the same anymore, she feels that she is closer to God.
It was the only moment in her life when she had to act like a man.

While I was leaving her house she walked with me for a while along the railways, she told me that she is respected there and that she is happy with her life.
She insisted, “Tell everyone I am happy” and she gave me her blessings.
Few people are like Sunita, she had the bravery to live her life…

Join the photographer at www.facebook.com/laurent.goldstein.photography

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Floating dreams

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Guria’s floating school on the Mansarovar Ghat in Varanasi is popular among children at the ghats.
The school—a 250-square-foot- boat—has been rented for 06,000 a month.
It has 70 students on the rolls, mostly children from the boatmen community.
Singh hopes the school is successful in minimising the vulnerability of these hapless children to abuses.
The school runs for two hours from 5 p.m.
It has a computer, a television, a DVD player and a small library.
A solar panel ensures smooth supply of electricity.

“Earlier these children would not study and loiter with firangis (foreign tourists). Some of them begged, shaming our city. Thanks to this school, they utilise their time in studying now,” says Shanker Manjhi, the owner of the boat.

The students are given snacks after school—an incentive to ensure the children are regular.
“Every day I wait for evening to come here. Unlike other schools, the teacher does not beat you nor do they get angry if I ask questions many times. Once the classes are over, I wait for my candy, ” says young Vaishali.

Pawan Kumar Yadav, who teaches at the school, says, “We give them non-formal primary schooling here, so they can read and write. But our long-term aim is to make them on par with students in mainstream schools.”

(The Week – December 18, 2012)
week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/th…
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This is a new school made by Guria on a boat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras), it welcomes children from the ghats and allows them to have a good school level in order to maintain their schooling and to avoid ending up begging or being involved with prostitution and childlabor.

Man of the year 2011

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“My greatest strength has been my stoicism.
I do not want to sound like a pedantic.
The day you realise you are just a speck of dust, you rise above the feeling of winning and losing.
This realisation comes through an inward journey and it requires ample courage.
It is not something you can get in a departmental store.”
(Ajeet Singh – Indian Human Right activist)

Today “THE WEEK”, the largest selling English newsmagazine in India, selected Ajeet Singh to be “Man of the year 2011”.

week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/th…
week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/ho…

Congratulations to my friends Ajeet and to his wife Manju.
Those congratulations have to be shared with the whole Guria family and with everyone who supported this non-profit organisation through many ways…
The fight against human trafficking and prostituion is not over, together we can change…!!!
This is GURIA’s website, www.guriaindia.org

Please read the interviews and the website and be aware of the story behind all this, Ajeet Singh is a true modern hero.

This picture was shot a few weeks ago when Ajeet came for the first time to Paris during a short trip In Europe.
It was early in the morning in front of “le Château de Versailles” (Palace of Versailles) a few hours before going back to India.
Ajeet was happy, there was a smile on his face but there is a bigger one in his heart…

Recovering a Stolen Childhood

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“In school whatever you’re taught about being Mother Teresa isn’t true.
In real life you get castigated.”
(Ajeet Singh – Founder and director of Guria)

 

Last night Indian TV was showing a documentary (CNN-IBN & CNBC) concerning Ajeet Singh and Guria.
Please take the time to watch this video which is a part of it

and to read the interview at www.siasat.com/english/news/ajeet-fights-against-female-t…

Guria is a Human Rights organisation settle in Varanasi (Benaras) and fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.
Manju and her husband Ajeet Singh are running this non-profit organisation at great personal risk, providing shelter and hope to many children.They are modern heroes and they give a meaning to all the things I do as I support their action through my work.
Talking about them gives a recognition and provides security to the children and to everyone involved there.
Share the word in order that they keep the protection necessary to continue their lawful human rights work in safety and free from intimidation and harassment.

 

This is a portrait of a little girl who stays at Guria.
Each time I go to this place I take several pictures of the children and recently I realized that on the last pictures they look younger than last year, as if they got their stolen childhood back…

More pictures of GURIA at https://designldg.wordpress.com/category/6-human-rights-activism/guria-children-of-hope/

 

 

Alive

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
( Howard Thurman – American Theologian, Clergyman and Activist. 1900-1981)

Those little girls stay at Guria in Varanasi (Benaras) where they are trying to have a normal childhood like any other child in the world.

Guria is a Human Rights organisation fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.

Manju and her husband Ajeet Singh are running this non-profit organisation at great personal risk, providing shelter and hope to many children and facing many difficulties from all those who would like to use those children as a second generation prostitution.

 There are many ways to help and give a kind of support to Guria, this is its website, http://www.guriaindia.org and you may contact Manju and Ajeet at guriaajeet@rediffmail.com

A special dedication to Yasmine Retima a who helped Guria a few months ago after watching pictures from this set on Facebook.

 

 

The Basis Of All Morality

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Compassion is the basis of all morality.”
(Arthur Schopenhauer – German philosopher, 1788-1860)

This young boy belongs to Guria in Varanasi (Benaras).
He would like to have a normal childhood like any other child in the world.
Guria is a Human Rights organisation fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.
Manju and her husband Ajeet Singh are running this non-profit organisation at great personal risk, providing shelter and hope to many children and facing many difficulties from all those who would like to use those children as a second generation prostitution.

There are many ways to help and give a kind of support to Guria, this is its website, www.guriaindia.org and you may contact Manju and Ajeet at guriaajeet@rediffmail.com

A special dedication to my friend Benu Mohanlal who filled my car one morning with clothes, toys and books for those kids as I was on my way to Varanasi.

Revolutionary Behaviours

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“To be a revolutionary you have to be a human being.
You have to care about people who have no power.”
( Jane Fonda – American actress and political activist, b. in 1937)

Those kids stay at Guria in Varanasi (Benaras) where they are trying to have a normal childhood like any other child in the world.
Guria is a Human Rights organisation fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.
Manju and her husband Ajeet Singh are running this non-profit organisation at great personal risk, providing shelter and hope to many children and facing many difficulties from all those who would like to use those children as a second generation prostitution.

There are many ways to help and give a kind of support to Guria, this is its website, www.guriaindia.org and you may contact Manju and Ajeet at guriaajeet@rediffmail.com

A special dedication to my friend Charles Trabuchet, a French young man who came to India in order to give some time to Guria and to help those children during several months.