Ujjawal and the story behind
Chauhan, an IIT-Kharagpur student and ardent CRY Volunteer, recently completed
what his friends and family termed the ‘Madness Project’ but what was for us at
CRY an incredible #Ride4ChildRights. With only a cycle, his camera and
commitment for child rights for company, Ujjawal and his friend Siddharth
cycled 2,500 kms from Kolkata to Mumbai capturing stories of children, hope and
change across 4 states. As he cycled, he raised funds for CRY to help fight
child labour. Read on to discover the inspiration behind Ujjawal’s journey and
commitment to child rights and view some of the amazing photos Ujjawal took
along the way.
The reason I wanted to undertake this journey? I wanted to show everyone how disturbing the truth is - how tomorrow's India is working, sleeping on streets.
child labour? Each
one of us has gone through the anguish of having to witness children begging at
traffic lights and thinking that apart from giving that coin, there is nothing
we are capable of, or can do to bring long-term change.
passion for photography comes from? While at IIT, I recognised my
potential to be able to construct stories and stir emotion through pictures,
which spoke to all people of all languages alike.
People such as Terry Fox (an amputee who ran across Canada for raising funds
for Cancer), and Lance Armstrong (who completed Tour De France overcoming
Cancer) inspired me and I wanted to put all my efforts, push myself to the
extremes and do something worthwhile for the cause I believed in.
was associated with CRY chapter at my college, where I took different
initiatives of awareness campaigns through pictures and social media. Every bit
I could do, and whichever way I could, I wanted to put my efforts into it and
support the organisation and their work.
thought behind cycling 2,500 kms for a cause? While every citizen should be a
change maker in the country, we have turned a blind eye to child labour, taking
our own comforted lives and privileges for granted. I was determined to show that
if I can do something like this, so can everyone.
did you enjoy the most?
the times where sweat beads would flow from our brows to our chins through as
we cycled in 45 degrees heat, to the times where we would greeted by warm
locals and children who resonated excitement and enthusiasm in our efforts; I
enjoyed everything alike.
Any parting thoughts? Now at the
end of the trip, my mind wanders, asking myself did I bring about a change and
how each one of us has to stand united for a developed country. I also find myself yearning for the peace I
found doing something worthwhile for a cause I believed in. It is an effort
that should never stop, it is a spirit that should never die, and it is a goal
we should not stop before we reach it.
To know more about CRY and our work to ensure lasting change for India's children, visit www.cry.org
(Copyright for all photos: Ujjawal Chauhan)