People of the River Ravi

PhotographerFatimah Neguib
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The River Ravi has been home to the homeless for a long time. However, now due to a development project, these gypsies have been asked to find a home elsewhere. Some have already left, while others are still searching, unable to find an alternative place to live.

Story

Where there is home. It is nature's sanctuary, God given nest of protection. In harmony with their surroundings, these people are living the life of peaceful sublimity, oblivious to the glitter of the outside world. Now all this is at stake. They have been asked to relocate, to find themselves somewhere else to live. No longer will this place be their home. No longer will this place be their refuge. Their home was their life. Their home was all that they had, and even that is being snatched away. If one distributes food there, the hungry children of River Ravi will at once gather, pushing and pulling each other, each child fighting to come first. It is a very sad state of affairs indeed. Visitors have been coming to the River Ravi as sight-seers and as pilgrims, riding in the boats towards the Mughal Emperor, Babur's son, Kamran's "Baradari", a summer pavilion built in 1540. Needless to say, the development project has come at a great cost. These are families that will now end up on the streets. There are small children who will end up sleeping on the roadside. The already hungry children will now be even more malnourished. While we sleep on a full stomach and comfortably in our beds, the children of the River Ravi will have neither. I think it is high time we did something for them.