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 Vicky Roy: Journey From Picking Rags To Attending Lunch At Buckingham Palace 

Date of Publish - Monday, 17th December 2018

Life is all about a journey where anyone just has to follow the rhythm and don’t know about the actual real destination. Vicky Roy, a boy from West Bengal left the home at the age of just 11 years old with around Rs. 1000 only that was also stolen from his uncle. He boarded a train to New Delhi. With that little money, he had no other option left in Delhi rather than doing the works of rag picking same as many other street kids were doing. Along with other street kids, the boy also started working as a rag picker.

And he sold water bottles at railway stations. And there is saying that “Never lose your Hopes”. To his fortune, he was picked by Salaam Balaak Trust, An NGO who works for homeless kids. He studied there and somehow managed to pass his class 10th exam. He was suggested by the teacher to do something other than academics so he decided to choose Photography. During his time in Salaam Balaak Trust, he met with a British Filmmaker named Dixie Benjamin. From there he learned about basic photography and technicalities from him.

The boy then got in touch with a well-known portrait photographer AnayMaan. From there he learned some skills of photography. He studied photography at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi. And To his surprise, he got a job as an Assistant with AnayMaan at a monthly salary of Rs. 3000. After some times he took a loan and bought a camera. When was on the street he had some dreams, streets where he was once raised, now becomes the best subject for him.

In the year 2007, he held his 1st exhibition named ‘Street Dreams’ at India Habitat Centre and sponsored by The British Commission and DFID. In the year 2008, he got a chance to Photo Document the reconstruction of the World Trade Centre in New York through a program by the US-based Maybach Foundation. He joined to learn documentary photography course in at the International Centre of Photography, New York. He was awarded the MIT Media Fellowship in 2014. His photographs have now been exhibited in many solos and group shows across the world. His pictures continue to travel the world and showcased at exclusives destination all over the globe.

In 2016, Forbes put him in their 30 under 30 Asia List. He now heads the foundation, ‘Rang’, that donates books and conducts workshops in shelters. Vicky Roy never forgot his roots as rag picker and upbringing at Salaam Balaak Trust. From picking rags at the Delhi railway station to attending the lunch at Buckingham Palace with Prince Edward, Life has been quite a journey so far and still, there are many more miles to go and to conquer. And always remember never give up your hopes your dreams and always fight back and be a learner.

Author :
Shubham Kumar


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