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quantum leap (continued)

Upon my arrival at Anandwan, I began working in the hospital and noticed Sandeep, a little boy with leprosy, who came in every morning to have his foot wrapped in a bandage before going off to school. I visited him in the evenings and finally introduced him to photography. And through Sandeep, I met Mangesh, the only other boy below twelve with leprosy in the community. They learned how to hold the camera, how to press the button and how to view the image on the little screen. And that was all that was needed, for they would go into the most remote corners of the community and take their photographs. I feel that Mangesh and Sandeep truly grasped the core of the lives of the people with whom they live. They view the curiosities of a child and capture what they had lost in their own pasts.

My intention for this project was not to promote my own work but theirs. By combining our photographs, we give the perspective of the outsider and that of the inhabitants. Anandwan is a community of three thousand people afflicted with leprosy and polio. It accommodates orphans abandoned by extremely poor families in the local villages as well as the blind and the deaf. But these are people who now actually run the community. They work in their own fields and produce crafts—bags, cards and clothes from recycled materials—that eventually go into the market and help to sustain the community. Despite these efforts, however, the hospital there still lacks basic facilities such as scissors, disinfectants, gloves and masks, essential for maintaining the hygiene.”

Noryang Yeshi, Bennington College Student
Project, Quantum Leap Connections 2009


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