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Photographer's Note

A break from the video camera button images to another low quality image - this time with my Olympus OM 2N and a Tamron 28mm lens. (So no excuse!) It is scanned from a poor colour print - it was a snatched photograph from a smiley interaction with this whole school full of kids in the Halpati village of Butwada in the Valod Taluka of South Gujarat.

The Halpatis are landless labourers by heritage, the most marginal of the lowland tribals, their lives were little more than that of indentured slaves in reality as they were constantly in payment to the landlord farmers and living on a subsistence wage. Our friends at VPSS (Vedchhi Area Intensive Scheme) have applied their holistic approach to rural development in this village and have undertaken bio-gas/sundas schemes, housebuilding programmes based on mud wall technologies but with more secure roof materials to protect against monsoon damage, bio-gas cooking, indoor washing places, creation of 'community areas', health care, co-operative development, development activities for women and education.

The freedoms brought about by these measures have substantially changed the existence and quality of life of these people although it hasn't always gone down so well with the landlords. I had a not so nice moment from a rich landowner on a subsequent visit!

Anyway - all this hard work over decades in the area by VPSS and others is proof to see in these happy healthy children. This is another picture that I like beyond the technical qualities for the moment in time that it records - I'm fascinated by the relationship between photographer and people that are photographed - there are so many faces, responses, individual takes on the person taking the photograph. That for me (and the pure excitement of childhood) is what I value in looking at this image.

No apologies for anything photographically!

nerve, bantonbuju, matri, Fixfocus, nwoehnl, ballyna, willy has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1798 W: 194 N: 5130] (22952)
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