The Kalleda photoblog project

05Sep05

Happy Monday Morning. Happy – to be back in Bombay, back home, and back at my blog (there, I said it) – and earlier than I had planned… Also happy to have come across this remarkable initiative in flickr – The Kalleda Rural School Photoblog. This is the photoblog of the kids at Kalleda Rural School in Andhra Pradesh, India. The students take their own photographs documenting their lives and post them on their own flickr accounts. This account is a collection of some of their best photos.

Most of these photographs are simple and tell stories from the lives of these cildren – glimpses that would otherwise never be available to the outsider. I have written to the person behind this suggesting that specific themes could be introduced to the kids so 1. we the outsiders get a better idea of what certain notions – like say freedom or modernity or education mean to the kids there, and 2. the kids themselves think more deeply about them…

Photo-ethnography at its most basic and brilliant best… Please check it out. And if you are on flickr, do leave a few words of encouragement on the pics – the co-ordinator says, Photography is new to the kids, so please post comments and suggestions. Thanks!

This is the photograph that led me to this project first… The budding photographer (The original can be found here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdstone/26457702/)

I checked out the India Rural Development Fund which supports this school project and found out some more… This school started in 1996 currently has a strength of around 530 students, and 10 grades (Kindergarten through Grade 10). It offers high quality education to the children of Kalleda and surrounding villages. The first graduating class (2004) passed with distiction. Atleast 50% of the seats are reserved for girls, and admission to the school is based on a lottery system. Care is taken to ensure all communities are adequately represented based on the local demographics. The children have access to their own computer center and the internet. Lottery system – does anyone know how this works?

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