12 May 2009

SEED - Two Years Later

When i first knocked at the gates of SEED on a hot summer afternoon in 2007, i wasn't quite sure what exactly i would do with a story about an orphanage and an old age home that struggled for survival. Let alone post production issues of multimedia, i wasn't even sure whether they (the orphanage) would let me do a story on them! Well, they did. And i went on to spend 7 days and 6 nights in a garage-turned-orphanage-cum-old-age home in the temple town of Avinashi, Tamil Nadu.

Today, SEED looks nothing like the images i had once captured. It was proudly set on a 3million(in rupees) worth property. "Local support," Kalarani smiled. The brave lady who had founded SEED gave me the same warm welcome she had extended to me 2 years ago. I was on a pilgrimage. I had come to visit SEED, to keep a promise.
Girls are seen playing in the dining hall-cum-study room-cum-dressing room-cum- the only room, of the old SEED.
When it became the dorm overnight The brand new establishment.
Earlier,they could ill afford a steady water supply at SEED, let alone a good bathroom.
The first question i asked Kalarani when i met her was whether they had built bathrooms for the girls. "Of Course! With 24X7 water supply!" She beamed.
Kalarani teaching some girls at the old house.
Images of legendary figures meant to inspire the kids hung on the walls of the new study hall of SEED.
The old inmates of my memory had an air of gloom in them.
Now they seem to have embraced their old age with a zest to live on..
He was a photographer once and was keenly aware of my every movement. I had some trouble getting a candid shot of him.
Image of old inmates taken in 2007
A grandpa dutifully switched off the TV and stood up in honour of my camera :) "Images will be out of focus if the subject moved," said the retired photographer.
The girls used to collect water from the municipality water supply for domestic needs at the old house.
They now use that time to swing high in their new garden. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
PS: I think i cannot do justice in words or imagery the joy one feels when you hear your name called out by kids sprinting all around you or how blessed one feels when a grandma takes out a woollen scarf she had carefully knit for you. Kalarani told me that during the 2 years of struggle to raise funds for the new building, they had used my images and multimedia to show their living conditions. She said people were moved and was willing to help. I believe that is the biggest award i can ever hope for.


  1. Thankx a lot for this temoignage ! You touch my heart ! and in this world of not communication, I think it's very important to show all the faces of the life !

    Thankx Jyothy !

  2. That's a heart-warming story and it's always good to hear success stories. I moved to India in 2003 to work with NGOs, having previosuly spent ten years in the UK raising money for charities. So I know all about the challenges that NGOs face, and for that matter, how hard it can be ensuring that regular income comes in.

    Nice story.

  3. Sweet!! This one's a classic i tell you :) Do the aged guys still sell buttermilk?

  4. Time for a revisit and more pictures!

  5. @ Paul

    I do hope they find regular income and that they maintain their integrity.

    @ Sony

    Nope. He is too old now. He was perched on a chair when i was visiting. Grinning all the time. But he didn't remember me :/ the girls told me he had issues with leg.. old age..

    @ Gopal

    Of course! (whenever that happens :), but i do intend to keep going back.

  6. wow! Gooosebumps..... :) I think this is the best post on your blog. Great images (as always) Love the way you have written! Now I wish I had tagged along with u that day :(

  7. one of the photos touched me very much and i see it on top @ http://www.seedindia.co.in/ - no wonder!

  8. @ Ganesh

    Im glad they were able to use my images!!!

  9. the best recognition they can afford and i think you would feel a lot contended about such a snap.