In 2015, Cameron Perry came to India as a backpacking tourist. “I met a child in Dharamsala. He was running a street-side store but spoke fluent English. I easily struck a conversation with him. His smile made me keep talking. I asked him what he wants to do when he grows up. He said: ‘I want to be a nurse’,” shares Cameron, who — having been a nurse himself — was touched by the child’s simplicity and honest urge to make progress from his current state of living.
“That was when I decided to come back to India and do something for the kids here,” adds the 25-year-old, who’s back in the country. But this time around, three friends Scott Grills, Ben Butcher and Taylor Hogan have come along. The quartet will start a nation-wide journey on their motorbikes — for a campaign called, Ride for Rights – An Indian Odyssey. They will start from Delhi on March 4, and return after visiting places such as Mumbai, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Leh.
“It’s our effort to understand the lives of children in India, document their stories and the issues they face. We want to understand their lives better and bring about a change,” says Scott, who started volunteering for such work at a very young age.
Taylor adds, “We decided to embark on this journey to ensure that the kids can create and chase their dreams. We want to give hope to every child and empower them. To raise funds for the same, and give people an opportunity to donate for children, we have associated with the NGO CRY (Child Rights and You).”
Besides documenting the lives and hardships of the children, they will also film their own journey. “India is a culturally rich and diverse place. So we will capture our experiences during the ride through a documentary,” says Ben, a freelance photographer and filmmaker. “Documentaries have the capability to be uncontrollably violent. A lot of documentaries start from a negative aspect. We will focus on the emotional aspects and make our film a positive one... to give hope to the children we meet and mentor,” adds Ben, 21.