Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Seeing around 40 photographs displayed at Swaraj Vithika in the city on Monday, it is difficult to believe that they haven’t been clicked by a professional. The fact is that all the photographers are tribal adolescents from the rural areas of the Alirajpur district, who had never handled a camera before.
The two-day exhibition has been organised by UNICEF, MP in collaboration with the state government and Youth4Children to mark World Children’s Day, themed on ‘Sports and Inclusion’ this year.
A child photographer explaining his work to the visitors. | FP Photo
Govind, Sunita, Dharmendra, Deepak, Salim, Mahesh, Bhanweri, and Kiran 14-17 years age group from village Rajawat in Alirajpur district have beautifully showcased the traditional games they play through photographs. All eight young photographers, who come from farming families, were also present at the event.
They all were provided DSLR cameras by UNICEF and were given theoretical and practical training for two days. They clicked pictures of different games including kanche (marbles), sitolia (slings), Aankh-Micholi (hide-and-seek), Asht Chang, and bow and arrow. Besides photographs, they used to play these games which were placed below each picture at the exhibition. So, visitors not only saw the photographs but also enjoyed the games including kanche.
Kavita(14) has clicked a picture showing a ‘Lattu’ (spinning top) spinning in the foreground with a clutch of kids watching. “I have come to Bhopal for the first time. It is great to see my photograph being displayed,” Kavita, whose father is no more, told Free Press. Her mother works on a small piece of land in their village.
Some of visitors relived their childhood. | FP Photo
Kiran (15) has clicked a picture of children playing kanche. “After seeing the pictures, I have realised how charming our village is,” gushed Kiran, who wants to become a doctor.
Sunita Chouhan, who has picturised kids splashing water on each other in a canal said that she was elated to see that the picture was being seen by so many people.
Dharmendra (14) has clicked children playing sitolia. “It is for the first time that I laid my hands on a camera. I am feeling great,” he said.
Anil Gulati from UNICEF said that they will try to reach the pictures to a wider audience. Gayatri Parihar of Youth4Children said that these pictures will be displayed in schools to inspire other children.
The exhibition was inaugurated by adolescents along with Gauranshi, Deaflympics champion from Bhopal on Monday. Prashant Pathrabe, Additional Director General, Press Information Bureau, Neha Bagga, Girish Updhayaya, Sunil Shukla, and team from UNICEF were present.