The Power of Education

This photo essay was submitted by photographer Amiran White.

I first visited Shanti Bhavan in the south of India at the end of 2008 and have made several trips back. Shanti Bhavan, which means ‘Haven of Peace,’ is a residential school in south India. The free school offers the best education possible to children from India's lowest caste, the dalits, enabling the students to dream of becoming doctors and astronauts rather than the rag-picker and cleaner jobs they would have been destined for.

The project began with one man, Dr. Abraham George, and his belief that education can change people’s lives more than anything else. Through his dedication and that of the teachers, they have kept the doors open for 10 years, but recent financial difficulties have halted the intake of any more students.

I was taken with the children’s openness and conviction that anything is possible. They aspire to give back to their communities. It’s a brilliant model for how we can help from the ground up, a model that could be taken not just throughout India but to any country, giving everyone the power of education — something that can be given and never taken away.

Amiran White
Shanti Bhavan

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