Homeless tell tales with cartoons
When Anita ran away from her home in the hope of studying further, she knew that an uncertain future lay ahead. Mallica Joshi reports.delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2012 00:30 IST
When Anita ran away from her home in the hope of studying further, she knew that an uncertain future lay ahead.
Two years later, however, the 14-year-old is living at a shelter for the homeless and is going to school regularly. She is also telling her story through an unusual medium: comics.
Anita, along with many other homeless people in the city, have joined hands and related their stories in a comic book, the Citymakers Comics. The book is a compilation of more than 50 comic strips drawn by the homeless.
The four-panel comic strips are the product of workshops held by the Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) and World Comics India. Around 60 people were taught the basics of drawing comics at the workshops.
Scary and a little intimidating in the beginning but ultimately fulfilling - this is how participants describe their experience of making comics.
"I never thought I will be able to do it at first, but the instructions given at the workshop were easy to follow," said Pinki, whose comic strip talks about how she went from being a beggar to a schoolgirl.
The comic strips illustrate how an activity such as opening a bank account, which is fairly simple for most people, is fraught with difficulties for the homeless, even if they have identity cards and are literate.
"This is for the first time that I have got an opportunity to talk about my journey from my house, where my parents wanted to get me married, to the shelter which has given me an opportunity to study further. I had never thought I would be able to share my story with others," said Anita.
The workshops were held at shelters for the homeless to ensure maximum participation.
"This is for the first time that the homeless have a chance to express themselves creatively," said Indu Prakash Singh, technical director, IGSSS, an NGO that works with the homeless.