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From ragpicker to world-renowned photographer!

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There was a time when Purulia’s Vicky spend nights on station platforms and went without food often. That same Vicky is a fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and dines with Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace as part of a photo shoot. Well, this is no fairy-tale, rather the story of incredible grit, courage and talent. Even Forbes has featured him in the Under-30 influencers’ category. But what had changed the life of a ragpicker child?

It was a camera. Vicky’s parents were poor, his father was a tailor who could barely support his six children and though Vicky wanted to study, he could not even provide him two square meals. So he was sent to stay with his grandparents who were very strict. That’s from where Vicky fled one day and landed as a ragpicker on the streets of Delhi. But he could not survive the violent life on the streets of Delhi and was often abused. So he joined a restaurant as a dish washer. It was here that he met Sanjay Srivastava and that one meeting changed his life forever.

Sanjay had a past almost like Vicky and he took him to an NGO home where Vicky started staying and was also admitted to a school. They also bought a Rs 500 camera for him and film reels and made him participate in a workshop held by an Indonesian NGO. From there he never looked back as by then he realized his life was just like the images that camera in his hand clicked. He left the Home at 18 and joined a professional photographer as his assistant. 

Vicky’s photography exhibitions in different parts of India and world were a super hit. His exhibition Street Dreams at India Habitat Centre of New Delhi was a runaway hit where the photographer tried to exhibit different fragments of his childhood dreams. Vicky is now world famous and his famous photograph of a family living in a rickshaw infront of Jama Masjid fetched a global recognition. And yes, the boy’s journey from a village of Purulia to Buckingham Palace was a dream come true. Dream hard, and you will succeed.