Archive for education

Floating dreams

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

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“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.

Valuable Lives

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


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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion.”
(Simone de Beauvoir – French existentialist philosopher, 1908–1986)

This is a picture of the first house made by Guria in Varanasi (Benaras) in order to shelter children.
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 andfacing many difficulties from all those who would like to use those children as a second generation prostitution.
This house is located in the red area of the city, it allows the mothers to be close to their children.
I took this shot from the upper terrace of the new house which should be finished very soon.
This place is bigger and has a real comfort for those kids.
They already have lunch and dinner there.
This is a place of happiness and hope…

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

Those lives have value, they belong to the future…

An Impression

Posted in Banarsi (Portraits) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2011 by designldg

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“Children are like wet cement.
Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”
(Haim Ginott – Teacher, child psychologist and psychotherapist, 1922–1973)

As I was leaving one of our fabric workshop located in Pilikothi which is a Muslim area of Varanasi (Benaras), I met this little boy who was among a group of children coming back from Queens Convent School.
The oldest living city in the world often gives an impression of mixing cultures, just like the amazing eye colour of this child which kept my attention.

 

The Dawning of Knowledge

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by designldg

The Dawning of Knowledge

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“No man can reveal to you nothing but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”
( Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese born American philosophical essayist, novelist and poet. 1883-1931)

This picture was shot a few hours ago near Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Today the oldest living city in the world was celebrating Dev Diwali, it was an opportunity for many to come to the river in order to persue their quest of wisdom.
Here and there some people were worshipping while others were dancing and having fun with a loud music in front of funeral pyres reminding the circle of life and the meaning of what we are.
Those young bramhans were happy to be there at a few steps of their school, they allowed me to carry on my attempt to capture a few colours of the human soul…

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The Purpose of Learning

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by designldg

The Purpose of Learning

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“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.”
(Mortimer Adler – American Philosopher, 1902-2001)

This young boy was following a teaching among a large class of young Bramhan pupils at Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

Free and compulsory education to all children up to the age fourteen is constitutional commitment in India.
The Parliament of India has recently passed Right to Education Act through which education has become fundamental right of all children of age group 6-14 year.
The Article 46 of the Constitution of India holds that:
“The State shall promote, with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of social exploitation”.

The Art of Teaching

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by designldg

The Art of Teaching

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“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
(Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet. 1883-1931)

This large class of 106 Bramhans pupils was standing at Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Two young ladies were giving them a lesson in Sanskrit it was before sunset.
Obviously they knew the art of teaching as everyone seemed to be deeply concentrated.
Since sunrise those teachers kept on walking from a child to another giving the same attention to everyone in this open space which has no chair, no desk, no window, no blackboard and which is next Harishchandra ghat, the second burning ghat of the city from where they could see the smoke provided by the unceasing activity of the cremations.
It is obvious that those teachers must have a vocation for what they are doing.
Like many others teachers in India they give a demonstration that the quality of education is not necessarily associated to some comfortable surroundings.
This might be something to meditate for many… ;))

Education for All

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by designldg

Education for All

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“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.”
(Plato – Ancient Greek Philosopher, 428 BC-348 BC)

This was shot at Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) where a school for young Bramhans stands.
For once they decided to make the class outside.
The teachers were walking among the many pupils who were deeply concentrated into their work.

India has made a huge progress in terms of increasing primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately two thirds of the population and every ten years the literate population of India goes up by about 10%.
India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India.
According a few foreign students whom I spoke with, the quality and the level of education is higher in India than in Western countries.
Education in India is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: federal, state, and local.
Child education is compulsory and the state governments allow free education at primary level.
However, not all Indians get the opportunity to go to school.
There is no free society without an education for all this is why I made this action my priority…

Education is Freedom

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by designldg

Education is Freedom

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“Only the educated are free.”
(Epictetus – Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)

This child was following a teaching among a large class of young Bramhan pupils at Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Like all of them his attention was deeply concentrated and he was making an unusual choregraphy with his note book and pencil which seemed to help him to assimilate the words in Sanskrit.

A Real Hero

Posted in Guria, Children of Hope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by designldg

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“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.
In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”
(Ayn Rand – Russian born American Writer and Novelist, 1905-1982)

This is a portrait of Ajeet Singh who is running with his wife Manju an non-profit organisation named GURIA, in Varanasi (Benaras).
Guria is a Human Rights organisation fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.
Ajeet is a modern hero providing shelter and hope to many children.
He has succeeded in making Varanasi the only city in India with a child prostitute free red light area.
GURIA has earned widespread support and work both with the Indian government and with international organisations including UN, Asian Human Rights Commission, Frontline, Geneva Global and Action Aid.
In May 2010 Ajeet was one of only five people in the world nominated for the annual Frontline Human Rights Defenders at Risk Award, given to those who have made outstanding contributions to human rights at great personal risk.

“FREDOM NOW”, a charity concert with internationally renowned artists Yousuf Ali Khan (tabla), Nicolas Magriel (sarangi), Amie Maciszewski (sitar) and famous sarode player Aashish Khan, will be held in support of Guria in London on July 9TH 2010 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in West Kensington.
For more information see:
www.guria-uk.org

In order to help GURIA: www.guriaindia.org
www.frontlinedefenders.net/node/2433

This was shot a few days ago in the garden of my office in Varanasi (Benaras).

Disgraceful Lemons

Posted in Human Rights Violations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by designldg

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“This World Day against Child Labour comes at a critical juncture in the global campaign against child labour and the goal of ending its worst forms by 2016. …
We must accelerate action to reach this goal.”
(Juan Somavia – Director-General of the International Labour Organization)
Message for World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June 2010

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This picture was shot a few days ago in front of a five star Hotel in Varanasi (Benaras), it was one of the hotest day of the year.
Those two very young children were selling lemons, there was no adult with them, I saw many buyers coming and bargaining as there was no difficulty to negociate with those kids.
As a matter of fact it was the only concern of all those adults who were standing there.
None of them reacted, people were even wondering why I was taking pictures.

In the “biggest democracy in the world”, child labor is a crime like it is in any other country.
Whowever the exploitation of young children for labor is an accepted practice in Northern India.

Since I started to upload this file with pictures standing against Human Rights Violations and Human trafficking on several of my websites I get many comments and mails from people who don’t understand why I am raising my voice for this purpose.

The reason is that I should not have to justify those pictures nor my words as child labor is absolutly wrong and besides I truly think that there is no deal nor concession to make with providers or users of child labor.

Uploading those pictures is not a lack of respect to India nor to its traditions, the rest of my photostream shows my respect and true love for the country.

Of course I understand that this can be disturbing for those who are so used to have children working for them or to those for whom this is such a common thing that it became normal to see this without feeling anything wrong about it.

I don’t agree with those who say that we can’t change this.
I don’t agree with those who say that it’s not of my concern and that this is the job of politics.
I don’t agree with those who are sorry for the condition of the pets on the pictures but don’t feel anything towards the children.
I don’t agree with those who say that it is a helpless cause.
I don’t agree with those who say that it is a consequence of poverty and that charity is useless.

This situation must stop, first people have to understand it is wrong, then if everyone stop using children they will have no other choice than to go to school.
Everyone knows that families who are ailing with poverty perceive their children as an income generating resource to supplement the family income and they also say that they can’t afford education so we all have to work on this and find answers which can satisfy the parents as well.

Today the Indian parliament has passed a bill to provide universal, free and compulsory education for all children so it is our duty to make this work.
It is our duty to interfere otherwise we all become sinners of complicity…

I am living and working in India since a long time, therefore I have the right to stand for those kids in order that we can all live in a better society without being ashamed of any situation that we have allowed to happen.

How could people forget the meaning of LOVE & COMPASSION…