Naomi Stolow photography, nature, wildlife and travel

9 November 2011

Some abscract buildings - USA

Bal Ashram is somewhere in Rajasthan. It was established in 1998 as a rehabilitation/training centre of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) to cater specifically to the special needs of victims of child labour. Bal Ashram is a transitory rehabilitation centre for the rescued children, giving them a feeling of cohesiveness, education and vocational training thereby helping them to become self-supportive, self-confident and to overcome the traumatic spell of their pasts.

I'll say it again, it is a very special place. You are hit by it the minute you enter the grounds. I urge you to learn more about the BBA and what they are doing. Thank you!

8 November 2011

Mukti Ashram

"Many of the rescued child labourers at Mukti Ashram have seen to be trafficked at a very young age. As a result of which these children lose out on their valuable years of education. However, their immediate need, before anything, is that of their reunification with their families. BBA has witnessed that in majority of the cases, either the children have been kidnapped by force or by fraudulent promises of a good life and education made to the parents. These parents wait for months and years for the return of their missing children. BBA, thus believes that reintegrating these children with their families would give the children the best psycho-social support that cannot be compensated by a foster care institution. BBA also fights for the recovery of back wages on the amount of statutory rehabilitation for the children to enable them to lead a better life. This also prevents these children from being re-trafficked." The BBA.

I took these photos on my last visit. I hope they convey the strength and humanity of Mukti Ashram.

6 November 2011

5 more sleeps...

I took these pictures in January 2010 in Bal Ashram. I have since been back with every available holiday I have - how could I not return?

At Bal Ashram, the children gather their dignity through the nurturing and counselling of a loving staff, their confidence through the carefree and sensitised atmosphere. They pick up the basic threads of literacy and numeracy before being enrolled in formal schools - at their home villages or near Bal Ashram. Those over 14 years of age have the choice of a vocation of their liking - tailoring, carpentry, screen printing, electrician and welding trade. It is a special place. Very special.

Please take a moment to read about the BBA.