Kuppam HP i-community Children's Coffee table book


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In 2005, as part of the Kuppam HP i-community, Cameras were given to about 12 children of Kuppam and a book was published from the selection of some of the best photographs taken by these children. Creative work on this project was done by Parth Suthar parth DOT suthar AT gmail DOT com

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Kuppam HP i-community Children's Coffee table book

  1. 1. T h e i - c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h t h e e y e s o f i t ’ s c h i l d r e n k u p p a m m m e n t so
  2. 2. MURALI
  3. 3. Dedicated to the kids of Kuppam . A tribute to the promising future of the i-community whose capable architects they will be
  4. 4. MURALI
  5. 5. TABLEOFCONTENTS FOREWORD kuppam hp i-commmunity equipment used acknowledgements cholaraj Film - story behind the story 08 41 09 23 57 73 87 99 115 116 117 119 kids firoz kiran ashok jagdeesh SARITHA LAVANYAU 1
  6. 6. - T i r u v a l l u v a r , A g r e a t I n d i a n p o e t - s c h o l a r " T h e c l o s e s t a h u m a n c a n c o m e t o e x p e r i e n c i n g t h e d i v i n e i s t o f e e l t h e i n n o c e n c e o f a c h i l d “ 07
  7. 7. FOREWORD The book that you are holding in your hands is the result of an experiment that we conducted in the Kuppam hp i-community. In keeping with it's mission of being a real life innovation laboratory for Hewlett-Packard in developing economies, we wanted to explore what children in a rural community in India would do with digital cameras, if they had access to them. We wished to see how easy or difficult it would be for them to wield the camera, how they would express themselves through it, and what would they want to convey with it. The pictures that follow provide the answers to these questions more eloquently than I could express in words. The range of subjects, and the visual vocabulary employed is truly remarkable. Their work proves the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. They explored life around them with that special sensitivity, innocence, freshness of perspective, and sense of discovery that only children can bring so naturally to capturing even familiar surroundings. Not surprisingly, their pictures reflect the themes that they are intimately in contact with of people going about their everyday lives, in celebrations, at work, in the presence of their Gods; of family, of other children at play, having fun; of animals, and the landscapesoftheirbeautifulKuppam. It all began with asking a few children if they would be interested. One thing led to another, and before long, we were doing a summer camp on photography and the use of the digital camera for forty children from Kuppam during their holidays. They were excited about their new toy and were having fun with it. Giving a child a camera,is like handing them candy. For all the kids, this was their first exposure to photography, and the first time ever that they had laid hands on a camera. Several of them had not been photographed themselves ever before. Without exception, they all wanted to figure out the camera themselves, and proceeded to do soposthaste.Beforeweknewit,theywerehandlingitlikeprofessionals. Seeing Kuppam through the eyes of these children, is a visual treat. They take you through this journey, that begins in the wee hours of the morning at the entry point for most people coming into Kuppam, it’s railway station. From there on, as the day grows, you will catch glimpses of life as it unfolds in it's myriad forms, colors, and textures, and get an aerial view of her, before one of them bids you goodbye. That they could, with the panorama of images, enhance an already extraordinarily beautiful place like Kuppam is a tribute to their talent. It takes a village to raise a child they say, but it seems only a camera to show it off. These images are moments in time, frozen for posterity. As we have come to know each kid, and their unique gifts, we find that their photographs are also a mirror to their selves. We learnt many things from this experiment, but one in particular is especially sweet Digital Photography is truly child’s play. Appropriately so, I feel like Forest Gump, when reading this book. It is indeed like a box of chocolates. One does not know what one is going to get next. We had a lot of chocolates to choose from, 11,000 of them to be precise, and this presented a significant challenge to the team about which photographs to pick for inclusion in the book. What you are going to savor is our choice of the best of the best ! We have also filmed these children at work and play and itisavailableasaCDatthebackofthebookforyourviewingpleasure. In conclusion, though Kuppam has been our neighborhood for these past three years, and we have come to know and admire her many splendoured beauty and charm, these children with their photographs have helped us rediscover her. Proust was right when he said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. If he had seen these pictures, may be he would have added”andcapturingitwithHPdigitalcamerasusedbychildren” ! Thankyouforyourattention. Hopeyouenjoytheride! AnandTawker Director,Kuppamhpi-communityProgram EmergingMarketSolutions Hewlett-PackardCompany
  8. 8. Cholaraj is the youngest participant of the Children's photography summer camp. He is so passionate about photography and always tries to capture the right moment. It was fascinating to observe him attempting to photograph the horse rides. If he clicked too early, he wouldn't capture the horse, too late he thought he could get hit by the horse. (You could picture a 4 feet child facing upto a 6 feet height horse). Throughout the duration of the children's summer camp, Cholaraj was diligent in taking lots and lots of photographs, photographs of the people in Kuppam, the trees, the railway station, the bus stop anything and every thing in Kuppam. He was so conscientious that some days he would wake up at 4.00 AM and go to the railway station to shoot the early morning scenes of people catching the 5.00 AM train to Bangalore. Cholaraj's family includes a doting mother who thinks the world of her child, his father who works in the granite industry and his elder sister. Both the children study computers in the Kuppam HP i- community computer centre and that is how he got to know of the photography camp. It seems though that photography is not for every one. For instance, Cholaraj's enthusiasm for photography hasn't rubbed off on his elder sister. Cholaraj wanted to become a police man but after this experience is wondering whether he should become a photographer instead. ( t h e e n e r g i z e r b u n n y ) 09
  9. 9. CHOLARAJ( t h e e n e r g i z e r b u n n y )
  10. 10. MURALIMURALI Thischildpaintercouldnotattendthesummercampasmuchashewouldhavewantedduetofamily constraintsbutmanagedtoshootmanymasterpiecesinthebriefdurationhewaspresent.
  11. 11. Of all the kids in the summer camp Firoz was there for the briefest time, seven days in total but took some of the best pictures. Firoz is a gifted Bharatnatyam (a traditional south Indian temple dance) dancer, a talented painter and was an active participant in the Children's day event organized by the Kuppam HP i-community. The i-community staff who selected the children for the photography summer camp felt he was the quintessential choice for the camp. Firoz loved shooting the life around Kuppam, landscapes, photos from the Kangundi Hill, (a famous landmark in Kuppam, but mostly he shot Hindu temples and images of gods and goddesses, the last theme not a very obvious choice for a boy whose faith is Islam. Expression of the genius of India at work in Kuppam!. ( t h e p r e c o c i o u s c h i l d ) 23
  12. 12. firoz( t h e p r e c o c i o u s c h i l d )
  13. 13. 3
  14. 14. MURALI
  15. 15. Kiran stays in Kothaindlu, a village known in Kuppam as a model village for unity and community participation. It is also one of the 5 villages where Hewlett Packard has equipped the Village High School with a computer lab and Kiran is an enthusiastic user of computers in his school. He has quickly mastered GIMP (the Linux equivalent of paintbrush program) and produces many master pieces using this painting program. When we wanted to select the children for the 2nd batch of the Children's photography summer camp, Kiran was the ideal choice for Vijay Bhasker, who runs the HP-AIF education program in Kuppam. Kiran's father works as a laborer in a granite factory in Chittoor, a large town, 150 kms from Kuppam. However the family has stayed back in Kothaindlu as the education facilities for Kiran are better here. Access to the computer lab in the school has made Kiran aspire to become a software engineer, but he wants to continue pursuing photography as a hobby. Everyone tells Kiran's mother that her son is special; and she knows it too. She is worried that her financial situation may not permit them to provide Kiran with the best of education. Her dream is to see Kiran work for HP. ( t h e c h i l d p r o d i g y ) 41
  16. 16. KIRAN( t h e c h i l d p r o d i g y )
  17. 17. kokila 4
  18. 18. SheisanactiveparticipantinalltheeventsorganizedbytheKuppamHPi-communityteamlikeenvironment day,children'sdayetc.ShesawdigitalphotographyinactionduringhervisitstotheKuppamHPi-community officewheresheisenrolledtolearncomputersandwhenthephotographysummercampwasbeingorganized thisyearsheenthusiasticallyenrolledforit. kokila
  19. 19. Ashok stays in Sodiganepalle village of Gudipalle Mandal, about 10 kms from Kuppam town. His father has been running the public distribution outlet ( ration shop) in their village for the past 40 years and his father feels proud of the fact that HP, an "American" company has come to his village and provided so many services including training his son on photography. Ashok is intrigued by computers and is spending his summer vacation taking lessons from the local HP Entrepreneur in Residence in the village. He loves taking pictures of the temples in his village, pictures of family and friends and people as they go about their work. He would like to be a doctor when he grows up. His mother also believes in his dream and says that Ashok is a bright boy. Two of her sons are farmers but she wants her youngest child to do better. ( a d o c t o r i n t h e m a k i n g ) 57
  20. 20. ASHOK( a d o c t o r i n t h e m a k i n g )
  21. 21. MURALI 5
  22. 22. KOKILA
  23. 23. Jagdeesh stays in Parmasamudram village of Kuppam. His father is a railway engine driver who works in Jolarpettai, an important railway junction 50 kms from Kuppam. The fact that Jagdeesh's father has a Government job with a regular and a good income makes them far wealthier than their farmer neighbours. Though Jagdeesh likes to take pictures of his village, he especially likes his picture taken and for this has trained his friends in photography so that they can take his picture while he is playing. Jagdeesh says he learnt photography in 30 minutes and to demonstrate the ease of digital photography took just 10 minutes to teach his elder sister how to use the camera. Jagdeesh's family is very proud of his photography skills and even his 70 year old grandfather spends a lot of time looking at the pictures taken by Jagdeesh. Jagdeesh's father wants him to become a policeman but his mother feels that a policeman's job is full of tension. ( t h e r a i l w a y m a n ’ s s o n ) 73
  24. 24. JAGDEESH( t h e r a i l w a y m a n ’ s s o n )
  25. 25. KOKILA 6
  26. 26. Saritha's hails from a family of potters and unlike most of her class mates who only play during their summer vacation, she diligently helps her father in making earthen pots. She was chosen by Dharmavati, an Entrepreneur in Residence working in the Kuppam HP i-community program as she was an active child and was always wanting to do new things. Dharmavati has saved all of Saritha's pictures on her laptop and shows it proudly to the entire village folk in Gonumakulapalli where both she and Saritha live. Saritha has become an avid photographer and so far has captured over 700 pictures comprising mainly of the landscapes, farm lands, animals etc. and once she walked three kms to capture a peacock in a nearby village. While she shoots inanimate objects very well, she feels a bit shy when photographing people. Saritha stays in a village 45 kms away from Kuppam and prior to the start of the program, her mother worried about how they could let their little girl travel so far to attend the children's photography summer camp in Kuppam. Initially Dharmavati accompanied her, but a few trips the parents felt reassured and let her take the bus herself. Earlier Saritha dreamt about becoming a teacher but now she wants to be a photographer. Saritha really cherishes the fact that participating in the summer camp enabled her to print photographs that she took of her family, which she can now keep and show to her friends and relatives. ( t h e f a m i l y ’ s h e l p e r ) 87
  27. 27. SARITHA( t h e f a m i l y ’ s h e l p e r )
  28. 28. heena studiesintheJuniorHighSchoolinKuppamandisanenthusiasticuserofthecomputersavailableinherschool. Inabrief2monthperiodshehaslearntsomuchthatshenowteachescomputerstootherstudentsin herschool.ComingasshedoesfromaconservativeMuslimfamily,shehadtoovercomemanyhurdlestopursue herpassionorphotography.Thatshedidsplendidlycanbeseenfromherpictures.
  29. 29. Lavanya lives in the historic village of Kangundi, the erstwhile capital of Kuppam. She stays in the former Zamindar's (Local ruler) palace compound and her father is the Chairman of the largest temple in Kangundi. Lavanya loves the beauty of Kangundi village, the fort located atop the hill that she proudly shows to all her visitors, the temples, the forests and the people of her village, especially the children whom she enthusiastically photographs. Lavanya is also a keen participant in all the village festivals. Her parents and younger sister are thrilled to see her use the camera and admire the fact that despite being so young she was able to learn it so quickly. During the photography camp she took advantage of the fact that she possessed a digital camera to visit V. Kota, a town 50 kms away from her village and took pictures of her relatives who lived there. She was very proud that she could print their photographs and send them a copy. ( f a t h e r ’ s d a r l i n g ) 99
  30. 30. LAVANYAU ( f a t h e r ’ s d a r l i n g ) 7
  31. 31. 7
  32. 32. MURALI
  33. 33. KOKILA
  34. 34. kuppam hp i-community Kuppam located in Andhra Pradesh India, about 105 kms from Bangalore on the main Bangalore Chennai Railway line literally means ' meeting point" in Telugu, the local language of the place. The place is located at a point where both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka meet Andhra Pradesh,Itisasmallruralcommunityofthreehundredthousandpeople that depends on farming, dairying, sericulture and the granite industry for its livelihood. HP chose Kuppam as the site for its first i-community anywhereintheworld. The i-community program aims to provide people access to greater social and economic opportunities by closing the gap between technology empowered and technology excluded communities while focusing on sustainability for both the communities and HP. The vision for the i-community program is to help create a thriving self-sustaining economic community where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions are strategically deployed to significantly improvemanyfacetsofitscitizens’lives. Some of the initiatives deployed in the Kuppam hp i-community programare A first of its kind deployment of 802.11g wireless technology for providingbroadbandinternetconnectivitytoover50points. Over more than 90 touch points for the community to experience Information and Communication technology services that include Community Information Centre’s, Mobile Solutions Center, Schools, Entrepreneurs in residence, Village photographers and Digital rural theatre entrepreneurs. Over 75 local entrepreneurs earn a living by providingaccesstoICTtothelocalcommunity. Comprehensive solutions in the domains of the entrepreneurship, agriculture, health, education, citizen empowerment and interface with thegovernment. These successes would not have been possible without the active support, guidance and participation of number of distinguished public sector, private sector, Non Governmental organization partners’ chief among them being the State government of Andhra Pradesh. Other eminent partners include the PES group of educational institutions, American India Foundation, Datamation, UNICEF, ICICI Bank, World Corps, CISCO Systems, Samuha, FRLHT, World Links, Convergent Communications, Planet Read and many others who joined us in this memorablejourney.
  35. 35. HP 707 5.1 Mega Pixel Camera with HP's patented adaptive lighting technology Compaq NX 5000 laptop with Intel Pentium M 1.5 Ghz processor, 512 MB Ram and 40 GB hard disk HP Pavilion media centre PC with Intel Pentium 515 Processor 2.93 Ghz, 774 MB DDR Ram. 80 GB Hard disk HP Photosmart 7660 printer with Photo REt IV technology and 4800 dpi optimized output 116 HP Equipment used in the project HP 735 a 3.2. Mega Pixel camera with 3 X optical zoom
  36. 36. Acknowledgements This book is a labor of love of the Kuppam hp i-community team and many seen and unseen hands worked to make this happen. Some of themwhohavecontributedtothebookare- Anand Tawker who had visualized this book much before it was ultimately created and provided the inspiration and guidance to make it happen. Parth Suthar, the designer for this book who has worked tirelessly under immensetimepressureandotherconstraintstocreatethisbook. Harmit Singh, who introduced the children to looking at photography in a new way, teaching them to visualize the subject and capturing the right moment. All the children who participated in the Summer camp Firoz, Veena, Kokila, Akash, Bharghav, Prakash, Saritha, Pratibha, Subramaniam, Kiran, Murali, Yashwant, Jagdeesh, Cholaraj, Sreenu, Priya, Reshma, Heena,Sukanya,Ashok,Chinappa,Lavanya,Pallavi,Shravani, The parents of the children for letting them travel long distances to attendthesummercamp. Bobi (Peethambaram)forbeingtheanchorfortheprogram. Anirbanforcoordinatingtheprogram Prasad for creating the administrative support required for starting the programandgivingvaluablemoralsupport. Naveen for selecting some of the children, for providing the administrativesupportandforbeingavailableforhelp. Karuna,Venkatesh,Gopi,Saral. L Shekhar, M Shekhar and Santhanam for driving the team around at all oddhours. Kuppam hp i-community’s EIR's (Entrepreneur’s in residence) Dharmavati, Amarnath, Manjula, Veena, Vijay Kumar and many others who selected the children, accompanied them on their visits to the HP officeinKuppamandguidedandencouragedthemtotakephotographs. Vijay Bhasker who helped in selecting the children for second batch of thesummercamp DushyantofMahattaFilmsforhelpingtellthestorybehindthestoryand capturingthevoicesofthechildrenphotographers. Many others in both the Kuppam and Bangalore office of the Kuppam hp i-community program without whose help and support this book wouldnothavebeenpossible 117