As part of our efforts to widening our children’s horizons, since early 2008, we have conducted three workshops in Photography – in association with professional photographer, Nitin Upadhye. The workshops have introduced six of our girls to the basics of photography – the craft and the art. They went all over Kashmir – with Nitin guiding them, they shot hundreds of pictures on digital SLR cameras. Four of them went on to win the top four prizes at the National Photography Contest organised by the National Council of Education Research and Training. In January 2010, their work will be displayed at the Nehru Memorial Museum Library, New Delhi.
The photography workshops that we have been conducting since October 2008 are a part of ‘supplementary integrated-education drive’ that we started last year. This drive is aimed at studying and analyzing the current status of education that Basera-e-Tabassum children are getting in their mainstream schools and filling in the gaps and compensating for the shortcomings. Towards this we started a slow but a steady flow of activities.
Language has been one of the primary concerns. Hygiene, health care, art, expression, media, society, literature, awareness of what is happening with the outside world; the true nature of the issues that affect them directly and indirectly – the challenge is expansive. We have tried to design every activity in a way that they would enjoy and connect from their own experiences.
Our children’s response to photography workshops has been overwhelming to say the least and their photography – stunning! When four of our children won the top awards at the national photo contest, it encouraged us tremendously.
During these workshops we always try “talking to our subjects” even though they may be mountains or flowers or people, never to ‘exploit’ our subjects for our selfish interests – celebrate everything for what it is. That is something that we all agreed upon when we started this workshop.
We have now been regularly photographing in Kashmir for more than a year. We have a beautiful body of work shot by the children and their thoughts.
We believe that all of us – we the humanity – have collectively reached a point in our journey where we can share our experiences, knowledge, expressions, success, failures, thoughts, and cultures – help each other become more human and happy. That’s the purpose – Nitin Upadhye, mentor & Programme Coordinator
Education & Cultural Exchange Tours
Borderless World aims to act as a bridge to a bright and meaningful future for every child at our Homes. Bwf provides her the necessary platform with the help of its supporters and partners – whatever the scope of her ambitions: be it an ambition that limits itself to the borders of Kashmir or dares to dream beyond. Towards this objective, bwf organizes a tour to other parts of India during the winter break at the schools in Kashmir. These tours are aimed at seeing the world, exchanging cultures, learning new things – getting geared for the life to come! The first such tour was organized in 2007-08. They spent a month and half travelling all over Bombay and Pune, visiting schools, slums, places of historical interest, meeting children with special abilities, staying with the families of school children they met, learning, learning, learning…broadening their horizons.