11 million orphans currently live in India. It is more common for orphans to be female, handicapped or from a low social caste. Considering the emphasis that Indian society places on one’s family, lineage and caste, life for orphans can be acutely difficult.
There are, however, many organisations which look after these children. One is a Christian-run hostel for boys in the town of Vadala, Maharashtra state. These two orphaned boys live there. The town was established in the 19th century by American missionaries and has grown to have a population of 5,000 with many amenities including a 210 bed hospital, primary and secondary schools, a college for nursing and a leprosy and tuberculosis clinic. I took part in a small voluntary project in Vadala and these two boys helped paint a mural on the wall that can be seen in the background. Of all my portraiture work, this is my favourite as the spontaneous expressions catch the playful cheekiness and outward happiness of these boys.
All profit generated by the sale of this photograph will be passed directly onto the Vadala Orphanage.