In the year 1999, this 11-year-old child ran with a mere Rs 900 in his pocket and passengered the train for Delhi to live his independent life away from his home. After stealing money from his uncle, he left his sweet home to understand his life and to fly.
You may have seen many children around your house picking garbage. However, hardly anyone of us would have tried to know about them, talk to them. Today we are going to tell you the story of a similar garbage collector who has become the world’s famous photographer.
The name of this famous photographer who was a roadside rag picker in his childhood is Vicky Roy. And with books he wrote, people are now learning the art of photography.
None had ever imagined that this child, born in Purulia in West Bengal, would one day become such a famous photographer. The 27-year-old famous photographer Vicky Roy is not a rich house boy.
When Vicky Roy was a little boy, his parents left Vicky with his maternal grandparents due to poverty and lack of financial resources. There was an atmosphere of poverty and violence in his house, so Vicky escaped from the house.
But before escaping, he stole his uncle’s 900 rupees and reached Delhi by taking a train ticket. Nana Nani’s (Maternal Grandparents’) house was not less than a torture for Vicky. There, Vicki had to work all day long and he was beaten up for small things.
In the house of Nana-Nani, Vicky had become like a prisoner, while Vicky was fond of going around. So in 1999, at the age of just 11, Vicky stole 900 rupees from his uncle’s pocket and ran away from home.
When he came to Delhi, he started living with the children of garbage collectors. Then got a job in a restaurant. One day while he was working, a customer approached and introduced Vicky with ‘Salaam Balak Trust’.
With the help of this trust, he got admission in class 6 and working hard as such he passed the 10th class (board examination). He then went to an Open Learning Institute where he met two photographers for the first time.
Actually, the photographers there, provided photography training to the poor children, and Vicky started to see it all, and because of his interest, he learned a lot in an informal way. Until the age of 18, he was in the Child Trust, but after that, he had to find a home to stay.
At the same time, he took a loan from Salaam Balak Trust to purchase the B/W Nikon Camera. For this, he had to pay Rs 500 as instalment every month, as well as he had to pay Rs 2,500 as the monthly rent for his house. To manage his expenses, Vicky worked as a waiter in 5-star hotels, which would make him get Rs 250 a day.
In 2004, Dixie Benjamin visited Salam Child Trust and offered Vicky to be an assistant. Vicky was on cloud nine. Dixie bought a camera for him. After this, the wiki’s feet were not on the ground. This was the day and today is the day, Vicky has never looked back.
In 2007, when Vicky turned 20, he made his first exhibition of photography. It was named ‘Street Dreams’ and was organized at the India Habitat Center. This gave him great fame. After this, he went to London, Vietnam and South Africa.
In 2009, he was selected for a mentorship program in America’s ‘Bach Foundation’. He photographed the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York for 6 months. His excellent skills and amazing work made him a part of many international exhibitions.
After returning to India, Vicky received the International Award for Young People by the Salaam Balak Trust. He now helps economically vulnerable students like him by teaching them photography.
In 2010, Vicky was honoured by the Bahrain Indian Ladies Association with the Young Achiever from India award. In 2011, Vicky and his friend Chandan Gomes created the photography library and urged other well-known photographers to join them, so that those who can not afford to buy photography related books due to the shortage of money can be helped.
Now there are 500 books in this library. His photography also received a lot of praise on famous places like Whitechapel Gallery in London and Photo museum in Switzerland. Vicky has now become one of the renowned photographers of the country and the world.
His first book was released in 2013, titled Home Street Home, which people liked very much. He currently works as a freelance photographer.
Vicky says “If you want to do something in your life then you will always have to work hard, there is no shortcut to success. If you want to make your dreams come true, keep an eye on them. By fleeing the fears of obstacles, you will never succeed.”