By Child Rights and You:
Pictures say a thousand words, they say. A cliché, yes, but perhaps the best way to express the strong impact that photographs have on the way we think. The photograph of the body of Aylan Kurdi washed ashore a beach in Greece evoked sentiments that no amount of news coverage on the refugee crisis did.
Pictures are not just visual evidence, they tell a story which forces us to think beyond the obvious. It is no surprise that photography has been increasingly used as a medium to highlight social issues and to drive change – both in attitudes of people and to facilitate a larger policy discourse.
Also, photographs no longer remain within the walls of an exhibition. With social media leading the way for awareness creation and a much bigger outreach, photographs travel far and wide. They have the ability for large scale impact as the pictures reach a diversity of audience which also includes the government. Take, for instance, the example of Bangladesh- Paathshala project which has created photographers that have dedicated themselves to capture the social, political and environmental issues in the country and has managed to put Bangladesh on world photography map, creating tremendous awareness on the issues.
Back home, In India, there has been no dearth of photography campaigns to create awareness on social issues. Individuals and organizations alike have been using photographs to highlight social issues; be it online campaigns or a mix of online and on-ground activation. The ongoing exhibition by Child Rights and You is an example of one such initiative. Their annual photojournalism initiative “Click Rights” highlights issues faced by children in India.
This year’s exhibition explores the issues children in the age group of 0-6 face in India, a lot of which we are completely oblivious to. The pictures reflect the disturbing trend of malnutrition and lack of health services and care to young children in the country. It depicts in pictures the grave situation that our country’s young children face. 56% of children of 12 to 23 months are not immunized, 48.4% are malnourished. Almost one million children every year do not live to see their first birthday.
What is interesting is that while the exhibitions showcase photographs by eminent photographers and CRY volunteers, they also exhibit photographs clicked by the children themselves.
A pilot by profession and an amateur photographer by passion, Tapesh Kumar has been heading a volunteer wing for CRY for quite some time now. He talks about the experience saying, “The whole experience of clicking photographs for Click Rights has been very humbling. The process has given me an insight not only on issues of health and nutrition of these children that we work in but also given me a perspective on the conditions at their homes. Photography as a medium is a very powerful tool to reach out to the masses and I hope with these photographs, we can reach out to many people to help spread awareness on the health, nutrition, and care that the children we work with so closely receive.”
With more and more people taking up photography, we are only hopeful that many more come forward to use their cameras to highlight issues that ail our society. The impact of powerful photo voices has the potential to not just shake up the conscience of the society but can shake up the system to take adequate action.
The Click Rights exhibition is displayed across the country. In Delhi, it has been displayed across 12 metro stations. The details of which are as follows:
Date: 8th December 2015 to 10th January 2016
Time: 6 am to 10pm
Venues: DMRC Stations- Shahdara, Kashmere Gate, Vishwavidyalaya, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, New Delhi, Rajiv Chowk, Uttam Nagar East, Janakpuri West, Anand Vihar ISBT, Mandi House and ITO.