They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I too believe that the best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people or the place in it do.
This quote aptly describes how pure and meaningful is the act of clicking pictures, the act of capturing an instant of time to cherish it in future by reliving all those feelings. I guess this is the reason why people are opting Photography as a profession. They are involving more and more time in this field to cherish what they love to do.
But amidst all these professions we are taking up or we are discovering, have you ever thought of the disabled ones who are far away from these fascinating careers; the ones who are just considered a burden over their family, their society; a liability to such an extent that they fear putting any money over them for their future ?
Such is the plight of differently-abled people and kids in our country. But there is one person surely thinks about them too. He has given these kids a new outlook on life and creativity. He believes in the simple fact that if we would not think about them, then who would. All these thoughts led him to the way of teaching his passion to the deserving and needy ones.
“It took me really long to realise what I actually wanted to do”
Mohit considers himself as a pretty bad student but we surely believes he is a pretty good one. After his schooling, he did BBA but even after that he wasn’t sure what to do in life. Still he took up an advertising course at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Commerce, New Delhi. Meanwhile, he came up with something exciting to start, so he decided to take a break to give his life a thought.
Bikers For Good – 1
During that thoughtful phase, something unplanned happened. Mohit, with some other biker friends joined together creating a platform called Bikers For Good, to connect bikers with the society at large. Mohit speaks, “Something in craziness, in a zeal of diverting from my path, I went for it on 2nd October, 2011. Along with 50 more riders, we were able to finally raise a fund of Rs. 55,000. So the event eventually turned out to be pretty successful and all the funding was donated to Muskaan, the NGO where my eldest sister goes and my mom used to teach. It’s a Parent’s Association.” But then on 10th October, he had to return back to his job.
A frightful phase came with the realization of his life’s true purpose
Suddenly one day, Mohit had a high fever and he retreated back to his home. After 2 months of hospitalization, doctors told him that he was suffering from TB. But his dreams, his wings to fly were not shattered. During those months of isolation from the outer world, he noticed that the people with whom he had spent his maximum time, the ones from advertising, never called him to ask about his wellness but the ones with whom he might have spent some days or maybe some moments, the children from Muskaan; they used to console his mom and used to call him in hospital.
Then the realization dawned upon him that till now, he was just giving his mind, his strength, his full devotion in the wrong place, to the wrong people. He was running in the wrong direction. He must work for those who really care and who actually need his support. He finally quit his job in 2015.
That was when he got the full courage to never go back to his job and the real motive to work for disabled ones.
Family also made him realize the need to work out of the box
Mohit has three elder sisters and the eldest one is also intellectually challenged. But now she is completely independent. It pains him to see that even after all these years of knowing about Autism and other human disabilities, the maximum these individuals are expected to do is paint diyas, make candles or clean spices in hundreds of NGOs running for them. there hew felt the need to do something meaningful for their lives.
Steps towards what he had left once.. Bikers For Good – 2
On 4th Dec, 2011, when Mohit was finally discharged from the hospital, he went social, finding a massive increase in likes on his FB page of Bikers For Good. They had increased from a mere 50 to 500+. The craze that he had once ignited was kind of gaining its virtue. This was the time he wanted one more ride to happen. He adds, “Ever since I’ve chosen motorcycling as a lifestyle, it has helped me meet people who have not only surprised me but also inspired me. I didn’t want to quit it.” With more such initiatives he took, he realized that there is also a need to change the mindset too. Not only do rides for donations but also for awareness. They did many such awareness rides for Empowering Women and finally in December 2016, We’re One Ride was launched nationwide. Mohit proudly speaks, “It definitely saw a lot more than what met the eye. The We’re One Ride aims to raise awareness and funds for the differently-abled or Superhumans as they call them. The team is dedicated to making life easier for the differently-abled by creating equal opportunities, empowering them and giving a voice to their cause.”
This was not the limit – Photography was yet to come
“It seems like India has known about autism to its depth since 25-30 years now. even after having such a vast knowledge, we still lack at proving them with proper and equal job options. we still want them to those basic 4-5 stuffs only. what I believe is that they need right training and with that they can excel in any field they want,” says Mohit when asked about his present work moto.
Mohit started training 5 specially-abled individuals last year in basic skills of photography. He started the NGO, KnowDisability to work for them and joined hands with Shaurya Centre for the Photography course. Little did he know that these children would far exceed his expectations in terms of the way they see and capture the world around them.
He adds, “Presently they are working with 300 artificial jewellery products.”
he strongly believes in setting up India’s first studio run by such adults only to let the world know their true capabilities but for that he needs your support too.
You can connect here to help him raise the fund.
“Your First Profession Photograph and the most important thing you have learnt since then about photography”
It was of a Rajasthani folk dancer that he took he Surajkund fair. He says, “One thing I have learnt not only about photography but for my entire life is what matters most is not to what you move on but rather what moves you.” So that is exactly life should be, to move towards something that drives you crazy and you are in awe with it.
“Your best experience while teaching photography to Superhumans”
“There was 35-year old Bharat. it was getting really tough with him to make him do the basic clicking thing with camera. it took me almost 2 months to just put his finger onto that button and make him click it. but then eventually one day, he himself picks the camera and clicked a photo. that was a really surprising moment for me,” speaks Mohit.
Photography is the story we fail to put into words. Photographers ensure that the pictures not only match international standards but also create a connect in the mind of the viewer.
Mohit’s words for the readers
He never forgot the simple and yet inspiring words his teachers told him and that’s what he speaks to us, “You can be a rocket scientist if you want.”
You can connect to Mohit Ahuja at his
FB page for BikersForGood : https://www.facebook.com/Bikersforgood/
Email : email@example.com
Link to Profile : https://www.facebook.com/mohit.bikersforgood
To know more about KnowDisability, its services and enrollment aspects, read at knowdisability.org
Recommendations for learning Photography