Sydney-based photographer Katy Fitzgerald recently spent five months working and travelling in India. Having travelled to India previously and fallen in love with the country and its people, this time she wanted to experience life in India, rather than simply travelling through. She had the wonderful opportunity of spending time at Tender Heart School, volunteering and helping.
Tender Heart School is situated in the small and very traditional village of Bhatola on the outskirts of Delhi. The school was born from the vision of local Faridabad woman, Renu Bali, grateful for her own education and wishing to bring educational opportunities to those less fortunate than herself.
In this part of India, education, especially for women, was not considered necessary and people lived a very traditional and simple life with little expectation of education or progress.
Against considerable odds, the school was built and has flourished. Today, Tender Heart School consists of a regular school for local children, including street children; a unit for children with disabilities; a volunteer program to teach children of poor families whose only chance at education is with Tender Heart; and a program teaching handicrafts to local women.
This year, Renu Bali is undertaking to bring seven of the Tender Heart School children with disabilities to Australia to participate in the Special Olympic Games to be held in Newcastle in November. As these children come from poor families, none are in a financial position to provide funds for such a venture. Renu Bali and Katy Fitzgerald have committed themselves to raising the required funds to make this once in a lifetime opportunity a reality for these children and their families – none of whom would ever have dreamt it possible to travel overseas to attend such a spectacular event.
This exhibition aims to raise awareness and much needed funds. The exhibition features many images of Tender Heart School, as well as images from Tibetan Dharamsala, Mumbai and Rajistan.