A Ray of Hope

This photo essay was submitted by Sandip Debnath

Sandip Debnath is a freelance photographer living in Bangalore, India, who documents social issues and conflicts. Read on for a Q&A about his photographs of Samarthanam, a home for the visually impaired in Bangalore.

Q: What did you photograph?

A: Mahantesh, Paul Mudda and Nagesh are the three visually impaired friends with a shared mission to help the visually impaired access higher education and to create a niche for themselves in this highly competitive society. They founded Samarthanam in 1997 with the initial aim of providing housing to enable visually impaired people to continue their schooling. Over the years, the organization has grown both in numbers of participants and in the breadth of its activities. It has expanded to include students who are poor and physically challenged.

Q: How did it impact you?

A: To a great extent, it opened up my thoughts towards those who are visually impaired as human beings. They are far more emotional and humanitarian in nature than sighted people. Even though they can’t see the world, their world is full of colors, full of life and happiness. They often develop confidence in their own abilities that is stronger than most sighted people. I have a lot to learn from them.

Sandip Debnath

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