Tagged : ‘Multimedia’
Ever since I quit my desk job as a photo editor in 2010, I’ve tried to arrive at a perfect list of contents for my camera/travel bag. I’d often find myself lugging around a lens I never use or was short of a pen I could really use. Backpain was my constant companion.
Eventually, I got rid of my Lowepro Compuserve backpack in exchange for a Thinktank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0 – a shoulder bag. The shoulder bag is not for everyone. You should know when to leave it on the floor and should closely watch it’s weight. Or it could totally screw your shoulder bone.
Two years, 14 countries, countless airports, train stations, bus stations, auto-rickshaws and bullock carts later, I have arrived at that perfect check-list for a travel/multimedia journalist.
Here is my complete list. Hope you would find this useful.
1) Earphones, assorted cables, chargers
2) Canon 17-40 f4, with polariser on
3) Back up soap-box Nokia phone with a local sim card.
4) Safety pin (very important) , in case I want to change sim cards in my iPhone.
5) ND grad filters (1,2,3 stops)
6) A carabiner (useful when you wanna carry that extra lens).
7) Water bottle
9) A contingent of CF cards
10) Extra batteries (for camera + audio recorder)
11) Hand sanitiser, chewing gum, handlotion, lip balm and a transparent zip lock plastic bag for security checks.
12) 4GB USB drive and a paint brush I use to clean my lenses.
13) Pencil and cutter (god knows why i carry it) , pens (gel pens ONLY)
14) My purse of course. Although it seldom has any money in it.
15) My baby. 5D Mark II with a 50mm F1.4 mounted . I dont believe in lens caps.
16) A zoom H1 with foam cover and a handle.
17) A little black notebook and passport.
18) Lens cleaning cloths and an air blower.
19) And of course, the iPhone with which i took this picture.
There is a factory next to the home. The grinding of the machinery inevitably drills into your ears throughout the day and night. The building which is now an orphanage was once a factory too…. with broken cement floors and creaking doors. But the little faces that beckons you inside simply says, ‘welcome’ !
At 23, when Kalarani left her work at a convent , she had a mission in mind. To provide food , shelter and above all, love; to all those who are abandoned or disowned. She called her mission SEED- A society for Education, Empowerment and Development of destitute girl children and the aged. Unlike most charitable institutions, Kalarani had a unique concept for her home. At SEED, the children and the aged inmates would stay under the same roof to benefit the comfort of each other. Her dream had manifested itself into reality 5 years ago. But she had soon realised that the little go-down was running out of space as more and more children came knocking at her door.
In 2005, much to the grief of everybody in the family, the aged inmates were shifted to another building a few kilometers away from the orphanage. Even then, it was not the end of their problems. At present, there are about 37 children living at the orphanage; from 3years to 23years of age. All cramped into a little hall where they eat, sleep and study. The orphanage has but one single toilet which is used only by the house hold helpers who lived there. At 5am , the rest of the children walks to an open waste land 2kms away to attend nature’s call. With temperatures soaring to 40 degree Celsius and above at their little village called Avinashi, the children walks bare feet to the public taps, to collect water for their daily needs. The only tap in the house provides no more water than is required for cooking. Despite the lack of facilities of their home, the inmates of SEED, are happy, and at peace with themselves and with the rest of the world.
Perhaps, for them, this loving world with its short comings is nothing less than heaven when compared to the hell holes they were rescued from. Every other inmate is their sister and Kalarani their mother. And the ‘mother’ has been wise in nurturing a sense of responsiblity towards the society in her children. The aged inmates, takes one step further. Guruswamy and his friend spends their entire day at the road side serving butter milk to the thirsty public. After 5 years of constant struggle, Kalarani has managed to buy a piece of land to build a home for the children. An institution which would be home to both the aged inmates as well as the children. But she says that the battle is only half won; the struggle to gather enough money to build the house still continues…..
PS : Im happy to say that SEED has successfully relocated to a new larger building accommodating 45 children and 30 elderly inmates. Given below is their new address.
Society For Education, Empowerment & Development (SEED) (Regd. Under TN Societies Registration Act 27 of 1975, Regd No : 316/2000) Rehabilitation Centre for Destitute Girl Children & Aged Samathanam Children’s Home (Recognized by Dept, of Social welfare, Govt. of Tamil Nadu) 1/849, Kasikountan Putur, Mangalam Rd, Rakiyapalayam P.O, Avinashi, Coimbatore – 641654
Ph: +91 4296 270638 Mob: +91 9443727638