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Photography – Where I work

I work in the “third world”. I work in India. And since I got a “New Camera” I figured I should start uploading pictures to here once in a while. These are some old ones I found. I promise that I will take better ones!

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This is where I work. Narrow, Dirty Alleyways to see patients who cannot afford Calpol ($2 a bottle = Rs. 140). Inside is a network of alleyways and “kutcha” or non-permanent houses. Fancy words for “huts”. This is a slum. The ground is filthy as are the buildings, but the people are clean.

There is a shared water supply and toilets which is a lot more than many other places. My clinic is in a nicer part of town but it is a hop skip and a jump from this. It’s in a nicer part of town because we need space. This is cramped living. Look at your bedroom, now think of 4 to 5 people living in that one space.

We once lived like this in the west. Don’t believe me? Read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All the family lived in one room in many houses.

 

This is the rural village. I normally get in by bus. This time I was lucky I could catch a lift. It is idyllic and there is power here so it is a hub among villages. There are more than 1,000,000 people in the surrounding area and for around 200,000 people? This place is the closest to a primary health care centre with some bells and whistles.

 

This is the clinic. It is so very very yellow. It also has a classroom for teaching. The point is to make it’s international workers redundant.

We are there to replace ourselves.

 

Kids playing around in the down time. I am a big fan of Lassi (Sweet buttermilk) so there is normally a bottle somewhere about here in case. Kids love it too. So they are sat outside my room drinking and playing in the shade.

 

No matter where, children will always drink in the messiest way possible.

And yes, I used to put up pictures made by children on my walls.

The clinic is now run part time, there is a purpose built building. So by day it works as a school. In the evenings? A healthcare worker triages patients to the right centre and deals with simple problems rapidly.

This used to be both my waiting room and my office. And this is an oddity. The only reason the room is empty is because I got there early. Normally?

This place is packed. There will be people sat on the floor to be seen and they will seen.

In the 3 years I worked here not one person left unseen. Not one person was turned away. Not Even One. We must have seen thousands of people with thousands of issues for thousands of things.

And a lot of this was thanks to you guys. Some of the money donated from the laptop fund (You know? That e-begging scam I ran last year? Some of the cash went to keeping this place running and getting things like an inverter to keep power on during the many power cuts that used to affect the place.

Still Moar Signs

Still Moar Signs

Remember this? This was the Chennai march for solidarity for Nirbhaya. The victim of the Delhi Rape.

It was a smaller march, people marched with signs. It was also the event that cost me my last camera. Your views helped replace it. So expect more photos.

I deal with time and smiles

This is Naresh. He has cerebral palsy, there is little hope in his life. India is a zero sum game. His condition is best dealt with by patience and love. He will never walk properly and has a major neurological deficit preventing him from developing into an independent adult. He is a 5 year old boy forever halted at the stage of a 2 year old. He cannot speak, he cannot read, he cannot write.

But you guys helped him learn a trade. One of the things I did with the money I made off you rubes was to send Naresh to a school for the disabled.

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I even got to use some of the money for dealing drugs. This is heart medication and I give it out for free to those who cannot afford it. I think your wealth should not determine whether you live or die.

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But let us be honest here. The bulk of my earnings from FTB and the donations go to this. My social life! I have it for a few weeks a year and it lets me go out and live a normal life. Sit in a pub with the person I love and her friends and demonstrate my terrible choice in hair.

Relax. I am more fashionable than this. I shave my head normally. At this point I had just fallen a bit behind on that.

And there is one more thing it lets me do.

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It lets me spend time with my family.

Tools of my Art

Thank you for making this possible and continuing to support A Million Gods and my Fabergé egg habit.

Comments

  1. Rike says

    Thank you for these photos, and thank you for people like you, who make the world a better place.

  2. Allan Frost says

    Avicenna, your awesomeness knows no bounds. For some reason I’ve now got the Rammstein song Amerika stuck in my head. Maybe it has something to do with your Chennai march photo with a KFC in the background.

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