Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria pledged his police department’s support for the education and training of 5 budding child photographers from various charities and rehabilitation colonies across Mumbai. He was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition of images clicked by over 40 kids between the ages of 10 and 16 being trained by 8 of the city’s best photo-journalists. The initiative by the Club was part of the DaanUtsav or Joy-of-giving-week programme. The Police Commissioner said the Mumbai Press Club should take the lead in devising a system where the most deserving from the entire group of trainees get a chance to pursue photography as a career.
“The police department fear reporters and photographers the most for what they threaten to reveal; so the police department will support the kids as long as they don’t take up photography against the police,” he added in jest.
Mingling with the ‘junior photographers’, actor Juhi Chawla congratulated the children on completing the crash course in photography. Speaking as the Guest of Honour, Chawla said the acquisition of a new skill was always helpful in the long run. She also encouraged them to develop their understanding of photography further so that they could make it a career option for the future.
Kaun Banega Press Photographer – as the project is known – is also supported by the YES Foundation. Kaun Banega Press Photographer is an initiative to inspire children and youth from the underprivileged sections of society to use photography as a medium of expression, as well as, a potential livelihood opportunity in the future.
Kaun Banega Press Photographer has been conceived as a voluntary training programme by the best photographers in journalism to teach school children from under-priveleged backgrounds the art and craft of photography. For the past couple of weeks, eight senior photojournalists — Suresh KK, Sanjay Hadkar, Bipin Kokate, Uma Kadam, Sudharak Olwe, Rizwan Mithawala & Sakshi Kapoor have volunteered to train and mentor groups of kids in slums and rehab colonies of Navy Nagar, Chowpatty, Antop Hill, Andheri and Chandivili. The initiative was helmed by Dinesh Krishnan, a senior photojournalist.
“Mumbai is a city with a lot of talent on the streets. We believe in tapping the creative talent inherent in these children and we are happy that the Press Club and the photographers trained our children . We will try to ensure their success and continue to support their future if they show talent and decide to choose photography as their career. ” said Zarin Gupta, founder trustee of the SBT.
Starting October 2, a selection of the best images shot by these children will be exhibited for a week at the Mumbai Press Club premises.