Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yeh dosti hum nahi thodenge...PART II

Shout out to Freedom of Expression!

Naandi's initiative to train and empower people with picture taking skills is now paying off :-D

For, participants have started taking up photography seriously. 16-year-old Purna Chander Rao, is a case in point.

In July, 2008, exactly a month after undergoing the 6-day F.O.E training workshop, the super quick and super enthu boy from this remote village called Manjaguda, in Araku Valley, pooled in all his savings (Rs 6,000) to buy a new Nikon Digital Camera!!! Yup. He did. He persuaded Dharma Rao, program officer, Araku Organic Coffeee project, Naandi Foundation, to accompany him all the way to Visakhapatnam - five hours away from Araku - and assist him buy the best camera. In fact, Charitha Reddy, who traveled to Araku from Hyderabad as part of the training workshop, received calls from Purna, enquiring details if a digital camera can be purchased for Rs 5,000, names and models of cameras and companies and their whereabouts!

And lo and behold, Purna is now the official photographer for Naandi in Araku. His first major assignment was to shoot pictures of the first Annual General Body meeting of SAMTFMACS, the country's only tribal coffee cooperative set up under the aegis of Naandi, on o5 August, 2008.

What more. Purna is all prepared to set up a full-fledged photo studio in Araku and continue with his passion for photography as a source for livelihood.

And when we called him up to congratulate on his new possession (Nikon) and on his first assignment, he only had one question for us. "What is the cost of the camera on which we were trained?"

Surprised, Charitha, who was attending the call questioned: "But why? You just bought one!! Is it for someone else?"

Purna: "Nooo. It's for me. I want to buy another one for the studio."

Now, it's our turn to shout out to Purna. For his interest and passion. And for utilizing the traning programme so well.

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