STREET DREAMS
Project info

I started photographing these children in 2005 hoping to capture their spirit along with their circumstances. Another factor that encouraged me to present this pictorial narrative of the life of street children was my own difficult past. I ran away from home when I was 11 and spent a big chunk of my life on the streets of Delhi before a NGO took me under its wing and helped me achieve my dream of becoming a photographer. Having lived this life I understand that buried beneath all the misery is a gritty determination and shining optimism. I do not aim to shock the viewer and push them to look at the reality by painting a bleak picture of despair and in the process, point fingers at others for their apathy. Instead of confrontation, I have attempted to portray this difficult world with soothing balm of a child's hopes. A boy joyfully looking at the pictures in the newspaper forgetting for a moment, his harsh circumstances; two unkempt girls, stark naked, playing on a railway platform, a bunch of boys bathing near railway lines, a small boy relaxing under the flyover: each picture shows the optimism of these children and their undying spirit despite cruel twists of life.

At the same this project is also a plea to give these children a chance, call for help in achieving these dreams before they are smothered. My own story had a happy ending and I wish an equally fulfilling life for all these children.