MUMBAI Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria pledged his police department’s support for the education and training of 5 budding child photographers from various slums and rehabilitation colonies across Mumbai. He was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition of images clicked by over 40 kids between the ages of 10 and 16 being trained by 8 of the city’s best photo-journalists as part of the DaanUtsav or Joy-of-giving-week programme undertaken by the Mumbai Pres Club.
The Police Commissioner said the Mumbai Press Club should take the lead in devising a system where the most deserving from the entire group get a chance to pursue photography.
“The police department fear reporters and photographers the most for what they threaten to reveal; so the police department will support the kids as long as they don’t take up photography against the police,” he added in jest.
Kaun Banega Press Photographer – as the project is known – is also supported by the YES FOUNDATION, a social development arm of YES Bank, which has committed to support meritorious children in training in photography.
Kaun Banega Press Photographer is an initiative to inspire children and youth from the underprivileged sections of society to use photography as a medium of expression, as well as, a potential livelihood opportunity in the future.
“We believe that each photograph tells a story and stories can change the world. YES FOUNDATION works to leverage the power of media to ignite the spirit of driving positive social change amongst the youth,” said Ms. Prerana Langa, CEO, YES FOUNDATION.
Kaun Banega Press Photographer has been conceived as a voluntary training programme by the best photographers in journalism to teach school children from under-priveleged backgrounds the art and craft of photography. For the past couple of weeks, eight senior
photojournalists — Suresh KK, Sanjay Hadkar, Bipin Kokate, Uma Kadam,Sudharak Olwe, Rizwan Mithawala & Sakshi Kapoor have volunteered to train and mentor groups of kids in slums and rehab colonies of Navy Nagar, Chowpatty, Antop Hill, Andheri and Chandivili. The initiative was helmed by Dinesh Krishnan, a senior photojournalist.
“We ended the first leg of the program on September 21 by bringing all the 40 plus kids together for a joint session at the Borivili National Park. It was exhilarating experience for all of us who were there,” Krishnan said.
“Mumbai is a city on the move. This is exemplified by our gutsy journalists who are always on the move. Jumboking has great regard for the journalists, and is delighted to partner with the press club for this event, and hopefully many more,” said Dheeraj Gupta, Founder,
Jumboking. Jumboking supported the event by providing gift hampers to all the participating kids.
Starting October 2, a selection of the best images shot by these children will be exhibited for a week at the Mumbai Press Club premises.
The program was also supported by Nikon, who provided entry level cameras, and Sanctuary Magazine, which organised the Borivali National Park outing.