A new way of seeing the world

Vicky Roy hails from Purulia in West Bengal. He ran away from home in 1999 at the age of 11 years, and hitched a train ride to Delhi. He joined a pack of children living off the streets, and earned a meal by collecting discarded plastic bottles. After six months of almost daily abuse, he left the railway station, and went to work in a street food stall (Dhabha). Here he washed dishes, and was given food in return.

An open door

A former member from our partner organisation, the Salaam Balak Trust, found him and opened a door to a better life. The Trust encouraged him to take up the Award programme. He did so, and studied photography for his Skills section. His talent for taking photographs was soon noticed and he was sent to the Triveni Kala Sangam for training. He studied under British photographer Dixie Benjamin, and is currently an apprentice with Delhi based photographer Anay Mann. Vicky has had a solo exhibition of his work at the Experimental Art Gallery of the India Habitat Centre, Delhi, and has also exhibited in the UK.

boy flipping through pages - an image by Vicky Roy

Vicky grabbed the opportunities offered by the Award in India. In a recent interview with the BBC's Alice Beer, he spoke of the support and warm encouragement he got in taking photography as a Skill, and how Award expeditions opened his eyes to a world beyond the mean streets. Vicky partnered a blind participant from Blind Boy’s Academy in Narendrapur, Kolkata during Residential Projects. He had to explain nature to his partner as they walked, and was amazed at this new way of looking at things. He watched these visually handicapped young people stride ahead in confidence, and realized they were role models to village families who hid their sightless children in the dark corners of their homes.

Many opportunities

Vicky says, “Without the challenge of the Award, I would still be washing dishes. Today, my eyes are open to the endless possibilities that life offers. The Award has given me the confidence to grab my opportunities.”

Vicky Roy is a Gold Award holder and international photographer.

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