Yesterday I had the pleasure of going out of the big city to a small village area about two and half hours north by train. After a long bumpy bus ride I arrived at the school. The director of the school is an incredible woman named Patricia that took over operations about three years ago, but she has been involved with the school for a while. She had been sending children affected by HIV/AIDS to the school, but on closer inspection found it sub par. She started getting investment and government grants to build better facilities, from proper bathrooms to classrooms. The school houses about 500 at risk students who live on the campus. Some are orphans, some have parents that are constantly moving or can’t support them, but some live in the surrounding areas. The children have a large garden where they grow vegetables and fruit, and they are in charge of landscaping the campus. Patricia made it sound like they didn’t have to be told what to do, the kids wanted it to look nice. The students are taught in Marati, the local language, Hindi, and English. Many of the students excel and are sent on to good universities. The teachers are enthusiastic and the children seem to be very happy. They are well fed and healthy. I asked about organized sports and Patricia reported that a girl from the school just placed 6th in the state track and field meet, and the boys have the best cricket team in the area. I was very impressed by everything that I saw and would love to go back and spend more time with the kids.
The students keep everything they do very neat and orderly, even their shoes outside the classroom
The library is lacking in books and an organization system, but there is plenty of room in the newly renovated hall. The children love to check out what books they have. I finished “Gulliver’s Travels” on the way to the school, so I donated it to them.
The school has the only chemistry/biology/physics lab in the area
I just loved the lighting on these bags coming from a skylight in the dorms
More photos after the break! Click –>
This little girl has the cutest little smile, and she would always light up in front of the camera
Patricia with a cute one
One of the administrators with the boys
One of the teachers took me back to the Dahanu station on his motorcycle. He was kind enough to stop and let me take pictures of the beautiful scenery along the way.
I am doing a shoot tomorrow at a school in the Dharavi slum. Should get some good photos there as well.