Pic­ture per­fect

India Today - - SIMPLY DELHI - Con­tact: vick­y­roypho­tog­ra­phy.com by Ekta Al­reja

Back when he was a kid, if some­one had told Vicky Roy that he would one day be fa­mous, he would have laughed at you. Or he would have ig­nored you and con­tin­ued col­lect­ing plas­tic bot­tles strewn around New Delhi rail­way sta­tion. At that time, fill­ing his stom­ach was more im­por­tant than ful­fill­ing his dreams. Fast for­ward to 2011, this run­away kid from Pu­ru­lia, West Bengal, the son of a tai­lor who came to Delhi and be­came a rag picker—is a known pho­tog­ra­pher who is ex­hibit­ing his work all over the coun­try and abroad.

DREAM­SCAPES In 1999 when Roy reached his dream desti­na­tion Delhi, he was in for a shock. “I used to see Delhi on TV. All those big build­ings and smartly-dressed peo­ple fas­ci­nated me,” he says. “I had no money. Life was dif­fi­cult so I started work­ing as a rag picker with other chil­dren.” Six months later, bored of rag pick­ing, he started work­ing at a dhaba. It was here that he met a Salam Balak Trust (SBT) vol­un­teer who en­cour­aged him to study and lead a bet­ter life. “SBT helped me start my ed­u­ca­tion again. But in class X when I got only 48 per­cent, the vol­un­teers at SBT en­cour­aged me to do some­thing I was re­ally in­ter­ested in,” he says. In 2001, Roy got the op­por­tu­nity to work with Dixie Ben­jamin, a Bri­tish doc­u­men­tary film­maker who had come for a work­shop at SBT. From there on be­gan his jour­ney. A loan of Rs 25,000 from SBT and he had his first Nikon cam­era.

WORK NOTES Roy’s first ex­hi­bi­tion Street Dreams in 2007 was spon­sored by the Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion. The same year, John Hansard Gallery at the Univer­sity of Southamp­ton in UK or­gan­ised a solo ex­hi­bi­tion of his works ti­tled Rel­a­tive Works. In 2009 Roy was nom­i­nated by Ram­chan­der Nath foun­da­tion for a pro­gramme in New York, or­gan­ised by the May­bach foun­da­tion to pho­to­graph the re­con­struc­tion of World Trade Cen­tre.

THE BREAK­THROUGH This year in Au­gust, he be­came the only In­dian whose works were show­cased at Lyceum The­atre Gallery in San Diego, USA. His pho­to­graph was one of the 109 en­tries from 72 coun­tries cho­sen from among 15,444 pho­tographs.

VICKY ROY, 23,

Pho­tog­ra­pher

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