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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 13:19 GMT
Rural Indian children's photoblog
Children at a rural school in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are running a photoblog about daily life in their village, Kalleda. The school gives children from poor families a free education.

The photo project of the RDF (Rural Development Foundation) school has helped school children learn English, connect them with the world and provided the world with a window into rural India.

Read the stories of three of the young photobloggers and click on the links to view their photos.

RANI

Rani

My name is Rani. I am 15 years old.

I live in a small village called Ravuru, a few kilometres away from school. I walk to the RDF school every day.

Ours is a very poor family. My father does not own any land and only makes money doing coolie (casual labour) work in the rice and cotton fields. His pay is usually 50-60 rupees ($1.3) per day.

My mother stopped me and my brother and sister from going to school. Instead, we joined her to work as coolies.

Since I was very much interested in studying, I approached the RDF school and explained my family's situation. They admitted me without charging tuition fees.

Photography has become my first and favourite hobby. I most like taking pictures of ordinary people and how they lead their lives.

It also gives me a chance to use computers and surf the web. That's how I can see pictures from other countries and learn about their culture.

Even if I am not able to get a job in the future, I know that I will be able to stand on my own feet by using my photography skills.

UMARANI

Umarani

My name is Umarani and I am 15 years old. I was born in the village of Kalleda.

I am the eldest of three siblings - a brother and a sister. My mother is an agricultural labourer.

My father is a toddy tapper (palm wine collector). We are from the Goud caste, which is the caste of the toddy tappers.

I have been studying at the RDF school since kindergarten. My ambition is to become an engineer. In order to do that, I study very hard.

One of the subjects I like to photograph for the photoblog are the Goud caste - the people who make a living from tapping toddy from the palm trees.

The two men I was taking pictures of today were discussing the sad case of Saroja. She was forced by her parents to marry a man of their choice.

But because she was in love with someone else, she decided to take her life.

This is a cause of sadness for me, which will be felt in the village for a long time.

ABHILASH

Abhilash

My name is Abhilash. I am 15 years old, and I study in the 10th class.

My father is a farmer but my ambition is to be an engineer. My family is poor but I have high hopes.

This is my last year at the RDF school and the work is more, as we prepare for major exams. After that I hope to attend a junior college, but I don't know yet if I would be able to attend a good one.

My heart swung with joy when I heard that the RDF is establishing a junior college because the RDF has donated free education to many poor students like me.

Education is a tool for human development. A man without education is like a strange animal.

I like taking photos of the progress of construction work for the new college. I also like to take photos of old people, people doing their work and landscapes with lots of sunlight.

Through the photoblog I have learnt a lot about photography and the internet. This has helped me improve my English.



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