Since this image was made the school was forced to close due to a lack of funding. Humana People to People is doing wonderful work in this village as well as in dozens of villages across the countryside in Rajasthan, India. Their work has expanded to various other regions of India and encompasses solar energy projects, micro loan initiatives, farming clubs and so forth. Education is one aspect of their approach, especially the education of girls traditionally held back from going to school.
So we find ourselves once again searching for ways to fund this school and nine others like it. These girls are like girls from all over the world. They giggle for the same reasons, they laugh in the same pitch and long for a chance to become educated. Like economists all over the world, they understand the importance of this most immediate need and will pass on their education to their daughters and sons.
Just before this image we worked for perhaps two hours making portraits of each and every single girl enrolled in the school. They met me in the morning before the sun came up, shivering in the coolness of the morning. The clothes in which they are dressed at this moment are different than the clothes they chose to be photographed in earlier. They know my preference for simpler and darker clothes and blessed me with this single wish. They know my aesthetic limitations and forgive me for such.
I adore these young girls, as I adore spirits persevering when circumstances are most difficult. We will find support for their school quite soon. These are the smiles that await me later this year, perhaps early next year, when I visit them while attending class in their village.
Halim Ina Photography