Roy started off his speech by giving the students a glimpse into his early life and childhood. He seemed to remember every detail by heart, which he very generously and honestly shared. He had a very difficult upbringing and lived in a state of despair with his grandparents, from where he eventually ran away, ending up in Delhi. He stayed at a shelter home, lived on platforms, rag-picked and finally found himself under the solace of an NGO named ‘Salaam Baalak Trust’. He matriculated and decided to pursue photography as a career because he wanted to explore the world. Under the guidance of various mentors, he traveled the world, understood the nuances of the skill and captured precious moments with his camera. His first job offered him a humble paycheck of Rs. 3000/- per month as an assistant to a Delhi-based photographer and soon he found himself achieving new heights on global platforms. He swept New York, Manhattan, Bahrain, London and every other corner of the world with his touching work and won many accolades. The way he talked truly reflected upon his humble and calm demeanor which took all of the students by awe.
Roy has successfully completed projects like ‘Street Dreams’ and ‘Home Street Home’ that have earned him wide popularity across the globe. He even photo-documented the reconstruction of The World Trade Center in New York City. Coming back to his home, Delhi, he established a library consisting of books solely on photography as he aims to widen his reach to the younger, aspiring photographers who cannot afford these expensive books which his library provides free of cost.
At the end of his speech, students were given an opportunity to ask him questions which he readily answered, underlying his honest motive of earning a lot of money while traveling the whole world whilst changing people’s perceptions towards slum children, reflecting upon his story from rags-to-riches. This session was really inspiring and healthy, motivating the young audience to pursue their dreams.
Guest post by Kanika Kashyap
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