News Photos of India's Street Kids Captured By Former Street Kid Himself   Email this page
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BANGALORE: Life is indeed unpredictable and this is well proven in the life of 25 year boy Vicky Roy who is now an internationally acclaimed photographer. As an 11-year-old when he first reaches New Delhi, he does not have anyone to call as his own. Roy has had his share of suffering, be it surviving an abusive childhood, living on the streets to meet a living or struggling with his own ego to achieve his artistic potential, reports
Born to abysmally poor parents, Roy was sent to his grandparents' home because they didn't have the money to bring him up. Unfortunately, his grandparents didn't treat him well, and often beat him. In a desperate bid to escape, Roy ran away from his home in Purulia, West Bengal. He landed up at the New Delhi railway station, and did what other street kids there did. He collected empty bottles, re-filled them and sold them to people in second-class compartments. He slept at the station, ate what he could. In winter, when his water didn't sell much, he doubled up as a dishwasher for six months.

Roy’s quintessential journey has touch hearts to many. Paulo Coelho wrote, “Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love.” But, Roy's life was changed when volunteers from the Salaam Baalak Trust (of which filmmaker Mira Nair is a founder) rescued him after being on the streets for six months.Roy exclaimed, “That's why I ran away from the shelter within a few days of being picked up by them. I was getting food, we were being given an education and a home-like environment, but you get so suspicious being on the streets. You value your freedom, and getting into a disciplined environment is tough. So I ran away," reports Hindustan Times.

But within 15 days, volunteers brought him back. This was the time when he saw the stark contrast between his unsafe life outside, and the safe environment at Salaam Baalak, and stayed on. Not just empowered street children with education, the Trust helps children identify and sharpen non-traditional skills too. It was during his stay here that Roy started assisting British photographer Dixie Benjamin, who was documenting the work of the Trust.

"I didn't understand English but Benjamin told me that the arts have no language, and that I had a good eye. Plus, I was pathetic at studies. After class 10, I didn't want to study. I also realized that photography would give me a chance to travel, which I love. And that's when I got into it," he added.

Since then, no looking back for this young boy towards achieving his goal. Today he is one of the most acclaimed photographers in the world and was among four people chosen by the Maybach Foundation from across the world to document the reconstruction of the World Trade Center.

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