Twelve Months Later

In February 2013 while I was working on a project in Hyderabad in India, I came across a small child living on wasteland in extremely poor conditions.

Having been really moved by her circumstances, I planned to go back and find her and at the very least try to get her into a school. Unfortunately the authorities had started to carry out construction work and the families living there had been moved on. With the help of my friends in the city and lots of ground work and investigations, I managed to find her living at a similar site a kilometre or so north.

This is my portrait of Sukaniya, daughter of Laxmi and child of a Scheduled Tribe. Nobody knows her exact age. She was born around 2008.

(thanks Tom Holloway and Ghouse and thank you Arjun Bagga for inspirational words)

Please click thumbnail for my original post and portrait.

29 thoughts on “Twelve Months Later

    1. Photographs by Peter Knight Post author

      Arjun my friend, nor will I.
      It was a comment that you made on my original post featuring this child exactly a year ago that was a sign to me that I had to go back. Going back and finding her wasn’t easy and life threw in obstacles along the way.
      I had to find her, it was my duty; I might not have known but for your words.
      I cannot hope to see the bigger picture, but I have faith that something far greater than me guided my journey.
      My warmest wishes and regards to you Arjun.

      Reply
      1. arjun bagga

        You are a good man Peter. You knew you had to do this, find her again, I remember vividly, you were overwhelmed after your last year’s trip to Hyderabad. Any sign for that matter would have triggered and my words were merely incidental..
        I understand why life threw in obstacles. You get tested when you want to do a good deed. Ironical but this is how it works.
        This is good news…I’m so happy for the child. God bless her. Thank you very much Peter!

        Reply
  1. penpusherpen

    I clicked back and studied the two amazing portraits Peter, a difference, much more than aging a year, a strengthening, core wise maybe? As Arjun says too, the eyes, which are beautiful, and so unforgetable staring wide at a World that stares back and wonders, what will the future hold? x

    Reply
  2. Where God Takes Me

    Dear Peter,
    Thank you for sending the link. Seeing this portrait brings tears of joy. I very much look forward to hearing the story when I return. Sukaniya appears happy, yes, happy, with slightly upturned lips and peaceful eyes. Bless you, Peter. I’ll be in touch! Vivian

    Reply
  3. Uday Narayanan

    Those eyes haven’t lost their spark one bit and that face is as radiant as then. You are amazing, Peter, to have gone back and found her out. Thank you for sharing this photograph!

    Reply
    1. Photographs by Peter Knight Post author

      Thanks for such kind words my friend. Going back was the right thing to do for me especially bearing in mind all the feedback and communication I got regarding the original picture. It seemed to mean a lot to people who had never met her and I felt a strong sense of duty to make sure I could help in some way if it was needed.
      I feel very fortunate to have been in the position to be able to communicate a small child’s situation to others through a portrait. As you have said to me before, it is one of the best things that can come from a photograph!
      My gratitude to you as always Uday.

      Reply
  4. arooseyeviewtoo

    Oh Peter, you went back, you found her again! Still such a beautiful face with eyes as big as the world, and in which you can easily lose a part of your heart! She now seems to have hope in her eyes. Thank you for sharing your moments with Sukaniya with us again.

    Reply
    1. Photographs by Peter Knight Post author

      Hi there nice to hear from you :)
      It was quite amazing to see her again; I had become so familiar with the original portrait of her that it came as a shock almost to see her looking slightly older (no surprise I suppose; a year passed) but she was unmistakeable! I got to know a bit more about her family and that she is from what’s called a Scheduled tribe. She and her mother and sister have quite a difficult life (un-liveable by western standards) but they seemed ok and I was able to help with school which I felt really privileged to be able to do.
      I have a friend locally who is keeping me up to date now with how they get on in school!

      Reply
  5. Artist Desiree East

    Incredible, and beautiful story…this reminds me of Adam Braun’s (of Pencils of Promise) story. During his travels, while in India, he met a little boy and he asked if there was anything he could wish for in the world, what would it be? And he said, ‘A pencil.’ Adam just launched his book, you might be interested in his work, if you haven’t heard of his organization yet. Beautiful photo, I’m glad you hear you were reunited with this young lady…that’s very special.

    Reply
    1. Photographs by Peter Knight Post author

      Thanks I’m really pleased you like the story and photo :) It’s amazing how important a simple pencil is; something taken so much for granted in my home country. Add to the pencil, the teaching to go with it and a life is changed forever!

      Reply

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