India: Mercy Home

mercy-home-Edit

Ankita prays with the other girls before heading to school.

Ankita prays with the other girls before heading to school.

Ankita washing her face in the pre-dawn hours.

Ankita washes her face in the pre-dawn hours.

Akansha, 15 and Shivani, 9 wash their bowls after breakfast.

Akansha, 15 and Shivani, 9 wash their bowls after breakfast.

A line forms in front of the mirror in preparation for school.

A line forms in front of the mirror in preparation for school.

The girls head to school along a busy street, home to many less fortunate.

The girls head to school along a busy street, home to many less fortunate.

Each girl has a number on the bottom of her dinner plate.

Each girl has a number on the bottom of her dinner plate.

A wall chart of chores.

A wall chart of chores.

Ankita’s granddad’s voice trembled, his eyes welling with tears as he told of his granddaughter’s recent move from a life of poverty, rejection and persecution to her new life with 32 other girls at Mercy Home in Central India. “Being her grandfather, I was so worried and I used to weep quite often. Here (with me), she had no hope, no education.” Now, he says, looking over his vegetable garden as if he can see Ankita in her new home, “I see that Ankita is in a better place and I have no fear about Ankita. I fully trust Ankita will have a bright future.”

Ankita, 12, recently became the newest member at Mercy Home, a home for at risk girls sponsored by Mid India Child (MIC). Her mother died when she was very young and soon after, her dad abandoned her. Ankita’s grandparents took her in, but shortly more tragedy struck with the death of her grandmother. Her grandfather, barely able to support himself with the small plot of land he farms, and facing persecution as the only Christian in his village, was relieved that Mercy Home had room for Ankita.

Mercy Home’s mission statement is “Providing a safe home for girls who are orphaned, abandoned, or living in difficult and dangerous situations.” Armed with a dream to become a doctor, Ankita feels welcomed by her new family and now has an opportunity to pursue that dream.

A worker for the home shares, “Sponsoring these children through Mid India Child means so much to these girls because it changes their total life. It changes their personality…they get their dignity. They get their future.”

“Unfortunately, not all of the stories end like this,” says Thomas Corrao, Project Director for MIC. Corrao explains that the Mercy Home is maxed out on space now and can’t accept any more girls even though there are countless others they want to help. For more information on sponsoring girls at the Mercy Home, or funding to expand their reach, contact www.midindiachild.org

 

All photographs ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman

Technical:

(Nikon D4, 85mm f1.8, 1/400 sec, f1.8, ISO 400-portraits)

(Fuji XT-1, 23mm f1.4 , 1/125 sec, f1.4, ISO 5000)

(Fuji XT-1, 23mm f1.4 , 1/30 sec, f1.4, ISO 3200)

(Nikon D4, 24mm f1.4, 1/320 sec, f1.4, ISO 3200)

(Nikon D4, 24mm f1.4, 1/100 sec, f1.4, ISO 2000)

(Nikon D4, 24mm f1.4, 1/3200 sec, f1.6, ISO3200)

(Fuji XT-1, 23mm f1.4 , 1/160 sec, f1.4, ISO 1250)

(Fuji XT-1, 23mm f1.4 , 1/30 sec, f4.5, ISO 3200)

 

 

 

 

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