Balya Amulya: Photographer Praveen Helps Children Find Their Unique Expression

Praveen is a photographer who has been working with CRPI for many years. He was born and bought up in a village called Malenadu in Karnataka. The village he comes from is a forested area where the people don’t have access to basic facilities like good roads and well-built houses. He was not aware of child rights until he worked closely with documentaries related to child rights and programmes. 

He left his village about 15 years back and came to Bangalore. He witnessed that the children in the cities have a lot more opportunities to achieve their dreams, but children in the villages, who are equally enthusiastic, do not get these opportunities just because they live in a smaller area. 

Praveen developed an interest in photography in college. While studying for an MSc. in Electronic Media, he learned about various concepts like photography and videography. In the course of this work, he has come across children from varied backgrounds and noticed that these kids possess similar as well as unique character traits. “It is wrong to say that only the children from rich backgrounds have talent.” He also talks about mock parliamentary sessions with kids and how they have been able to field questions to elected government officials through them. 

Praveen teaches photography to both elders and children “There are times when the children study a particular picture so well that I feel it be beyond a grown man’s imagination even! Most of the times, elders just ignore what children are trying to say, but we should not do that, we should not take their problems lightly.” 

The ‘Adobe Youth Voices’ programme selects children from primary school up to PU colleges. They teach them about various creative tools and how these can be used by them in the outside world. Most of these children have also taken up these skills as professions and most of them have also started making small documentaries and movies related to environmental issues. Praveen has worked with most of them and states that the best part has been seeing the happiness on their faces as they watch their own movie. In the course of making these movies on environmental issues, most of the kids, as well as their families, have slowly changed their lifestyles to become more responsible.

“One doesn’t need a costly camera to become a good photographer. One should just have the will to do it. It can be done by anyone from any age group, if they are interested and if this is their passion.”

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