Street Children of Pondicherry

In September 2010 I travelled to Pondicherry, India, with foreign donors to visit the KALKI Project in India which seeks to provide a better life to the girls from the Kalki Project in Pondicherry. I had no specific brief other than to document the work of this local NGO and this is a selection of the portraits that I shot of the children who are being helped to stay off the streets - for at least part of their day - by KALKI.

Yuvaraj lives with his mother and father on Nerhu street, one of the busiest streets in Pondicherry. Yuvaraj attends Kalki NGO’s kindergarten regularly. 

After his father ran way, Pravhin Kumar lived for a while with his mother on Petit Canal Street in Pondicherry's Black Town. 
The mother – who makes a living working as a sex worker – asked Kalki NGO’s support to keep Pravhin away from the dangers of the streets. 
A child from the "gypsy" community on the outskirts of Pondicherry cradles his younger brother whilst posing for a photograph. 
A young mother holds her infant in the entrance to her makeshift home on the outskirts of Pondicherry, India. 

Visalatchi, Kaasi and Prakash belong to the Telegu community, a small group of people originally from Andhra Pradesh who moved to Pondicherry in search of a better future.

The Kalki NGO is at present supporting Visalatchi and Prakash after school, while Kaasi attends regularly Kalki’s crèche program. 
A mother carries tinder and firewood on her head on her way to the makeshift village on the outskirts of Pondicherry that she calls home.
A child from the Telegu community plays with a skipping rope in her community on the outskirts of Pondicherry.
Despite their harsh living conditions in a makeshift village on the outskirts of Pondicherry, India these friends smile as they pose for their photograph. 
Vetri is living with her family at the garbage dump on the outskirts of Pondicherry, India. She regularly helps her mother collecting plastic and rags from the dump, which are then sold per weight.

Thanks to Kalki NGO's "Mobile Library Program" Vetri has started attending Kalki’s alternative education program. Vetri is also one of the girls who participates regularly to the activities of the Girls Program. 
These two sisters belong to the community of Narhikuraver, the gipsy community living near Pondicherry's dumping ground. Both girls attend Kalki NGO’s "Mobile Library Program".
 
In May 2010 Priya was helped by Kalki to join formal education at the local school. 
Meena has never been in school. She lives with her mother at the dumping area, where they both make a living collecting and reselling rags and plastic.
 
Meena attends regularly Kalki NGO's "Mobile Library Program" and, since December, she’s part of Kalki’s Program for Girls at Risk.
To illustrate the plight of the tens of thousands of people sleeping on the streets of India every night...the shape of an emaciated human form can just about be discerned using the headlights of the passing car.
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