From Wahaj Alley, Help-Portrait Pakistan:
While we go about with our lives, there are millions of children who are going about with their own little routines; going to school, finishing their homework, living their tiny lives, with their big smiles, and beautiful hearts. Some children, on the other hand, are lying under the ground, because someone didn’t want them in this world any more. Some, are in orphanages because their parents or relatives didn’t want them in their lives any more. Not exactly sure which is worse. As part of Help-Portrait Pakistan 2014, we decided to visit an orphanage in Karachi and take some portraits of the little lives to show how happy they are despite whatever they are dealing with in their lives. We did not know we would have to deal with a painful day soon, where children would be shot to death, in cold blood, but at least, we know that all of us collectively, would want our children to smile, and have painless lives, as much and as long as possible.
The place is named “Sirat ul Jannah,” which means, a part of the paradise on earth. The caretaker of this place, Mrs. Qureshi, said the children who live here had never been photographed before in their lives. Things that we take for granted on a regular basis are a treasure to someone else; this was yet another strong reminder that will stay in our minds and close to our hearts.
While photographing for this year’s Help-Portrait, there was one benevolent soul that aspired to be a doctor and serve humanity.
Many would come by who aim the same. However, the brightness in those eyes and the realization of the hurdles that await in her dream’s way make it the most memorable story of this year to us.
The slight streak of sad and gloom,
fails to veil the shine within,
if you choose to love,
if you choose to live.
–Help-Portrait Pakistan 2014