Sanah Ullah, Sukhdev Aman and Raja are part of the team at the ‘Dil Se Superstars’ Programme hosted by The YP Foundation at Ummeed Aman Ghar for Boys. They worked with Dikshita Raj and Anirudh Agarwal who were the Peer-educator for their group. Together, they have produced the Digital Story – ‘Manzilein’.
“I am happy that I took up the opportunity to take part in Adobe Youth Voices programme with The YP Foundation. I did not have clarity of what I want to do in the future, but now with the acquiring of photography and video-making skills, new options have opened-up for me. I also have the vibrancy of knowledge on how to make a digital story in case I want to convey a message to the people through the art of photography and the medium of internet. My hesitation in talking to new people has vanished noticeably. I also learnt English language during the course of the programme which shall provide me with new prospects for sure.”
- Sanah Ullah, 13 years, Ummeed Aman Ghar for boys
“I made a decision to get involved chiefly due to the fact that something new was being introduced to us. It delighted me intensely”.
- Sukhdev Aman, 11 years, Ummeed Aman Ghar for boys
‘Privileges bestowed by our birth’
“Manzilein” is that story which intertwines the lives of three children and presents one of the most significant facets of their dreams through their own words. The theme of this story is education. Unlike those children who are privileged by birth and do not have to carry the weight of heavy decisions about future, they battle with the insecurities of life outside the sheltered environment of Ummeed Home and can think of studying well and diligently as the only medium towards safety, moreover respect.
A digital story made and narrated by its prime characters – Sukhdev, an 11 year old child whose maturity knows no bounds when asked about his studies; Sana-ullah, a 13 year old child whose mischievousness also shows an active and intelligent mind; and Raja, a 16 year old teenager, whose gestures and paintings are his only expressions – “Manzilein” explains not only the choices and decisions of these children but also the hopes and expectations from their honest efforts to make the best out of what they get. This is a story that was written without a moment’s hesitation.
When asked the first obvious question of why they had chosen that particular theme for the story that they wanted to tell the world, their prompt answers were not so obvious – and the simplicity of their insight into a matter they must have given a lot of thought before we came into the picture, was both surprising and humbling.
So it can be said, that “Manzilein” is that incredibly simple story of worthy lessons that outweigh the ones we have had in mind for these children.
About the Group:
Sukhdev wants to make teaching his profession and it shows how good he would be in his little actions of kindness when he gives ideas on what would make a good picture or when his authoritative demeanor makes him correct someone else’s hand to steady the camera. He is a bright-eyed child who practices perseverance as religion and tries his best to not give into the temptation of “no work and all play”, as other children sometimes do.
Sana-ullah’s erratic energy makes teaching a challenge and persuasion an art. He wants to become a doctor or a soldier when he grows up. Sometimes he is shy and at other times very outspoken, but he too communicates a feeling that he knows what his goals are and how much dedication they would take. His disappearing acts during lessons when they get boring, funnily enough, speak of an agile mind.
Raja’s brilliance shines through the meaningful, vivid and at times dark colors that he pours on paper. His difference from the perceived concept of normality hasn’t made him a cripple, rather guided him towards finding an uncommon voice for his opinions. Yes, he cannot hear and speak, but he isn’t incapable of telling his own stories, only shy enough to not open up very soon. With him, barriers have to be softly broken and respect gained over time, but once he crosses over the boundaries of his own making, his expressions get only more creative.
- By Dikshita Raj
Dikshita, with her mild tone would approach the kids in a way which can only be interpreted as being extremely amicable. Despite her tall frame, younger kids would not find it difficult to climb on her and act as if they were hanging by a tree. Kids would find her way of ardently explaining a thing with a perpetual smile very comforting.
Anirudh would speak less but work more. He would make his group work in every aspect. His own interest in technical parts of the project made his group achieve ease at acquiring technical skills.
- By Akshay Lokapally, The Butterfly Project