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Update on the Kids of Calcutta

April 2009

Avijit, 20, is studying film at NYU and thriving in the program and the city. You can see examples of his recent work here:


Kochi, 17, is studying at a private high school in Utah and getting top marks in all of her classes.

Manik, 17, and Shanti, 18, are both still studying at FutureHope, where they are doing very well.

Tapasi, 19, left Sabera on her own accord three years ago and has since married.

Suchitra, 22, has married and moved out of Calcutta.

Puja and Gour are believed to still be living in the red-light district but have lost contact with Kids with Cameras.

Kids with Cameras also supports the friends and siblings of the children featured in the film through sponsorships at Sabera and FutureHope. KWC will also develop a home for children from Calcutta's red-light district to bring opportunity for more children from the brothels. We have purchased the land and we will construct a safe haven for up to 100 children, to be managed by our partnering organization, the Buntain Foundation. The Buntain Foundation has over 50 years of humanitarian experience in Calcutta and will provide scholarships for the children to attend local day schools while they reside at Hope House.

Update on the Kids of Calcutta

November 2006

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.