Update on the Kids of Calcutta
Left to right: Puja, Kochi, Avijit, Tapasi, Gour, Manik, Shanti
Avijit, 17, completed his first year of high school in the U.S. in 2005. After spending this past summer at the Sundance Film Lab, he is now in his junior year at an excellent private school in Salt Lake City. He will be participating in the "Show and Tell" exhibit at the Zimmer Children's Museum in L.A. next spring.
A painting by Avijit
Below is a short documentary, Culture, by Avijit.
Avijit and Manik
Manik, 15, is now starting his second year at FutureHope, which he really enjoys. He recently travelled to Sikkim on a trip with his classmates. Manik visits his mother often and still flies kites.
Shanti, 16, was also accepted into FutureHope last year and is currently in class 8. She is very happy at FutureHope and continues to excel in her studies.
Tapasi left Sabera earlier this year and is currently attending a local school. Now 17, she enjoys singing and is very good at sewing. Her younger sister continues to stay at the Sabera Foundation.
Suchitra, 20, is living at home and currently working for a greeting card manufacturer.
Kochi (her real name is Monty) is now 14 years old. She is currently in class 7 in her fifth year at the Sabera Foundation. Kochi now speaks fluent English and enjoys science, in addition to playing the violin and the cello. She hopes to continue her studies in the U.S. in the near future, and Kids with Cameras is researching potential schools and families to host her stay.
A drawing and a letter from Kochi (Monty)
There are three other children who were not featured in the film, but who participated in Zana's workshops and with whom we have maintained close relationships and continue to support:
Mamoni, 14, whose prints are included in the traveling exhibit and book. Mamoni faced a particularly difficult year, after being forced to marry and enduring the death of her mother. She is back at the Sabera Foundation, and still wants to be a doctor. She hopes to study in the U.S. as well, with the support of Kids with Cameras.
A letter and drawing from Mamoni
Binod, 20, is a talented artist who specializes in watercolors. Sensitive and artistic, he is currently completing class 12 at FutureHope and wants to continue studying art in college.
Madan, 19, was one of Zana's first students, and has a lifelong interest in art, literature and yoga. He still lives at home in the red-light district but is studying commerce at university in Calcutta. KWC will continue to support his education through university.