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Kids at a dumping site, Sahiwal, Pakistan | by Sohail Karmani
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Kids at a dumping site, Sahiwal, Pakistan

This photo, taken at a dumping site in Sahiwal, Pakistan, is of course a heart-wrenching image of extreme poverty. It's also an image of hope, friendship and innocence, but perhaps most of all the resilience of the human spirit. It’s a photo that had been sitting on my hard drive for over a year now. Since taking it, I’ve hesitated several times about sharing it online and still feel uncomfortable about showing it here on Flickr. But I wasn't at all uncomfortable about taking the shot because as I recall at the time, it brought so much joy to the faces of these two young boys. They were among several other children following me around that day and almost tripping over each while shouting "Uncle, uncle! Take my photo!”. I’d like to believe that these innocent children whom nobody pays the slightest attention to (beyond their immediate families) would feel immensely proud, if only they knew that someone outside the misery of their world could just see them and acknowledge them as we look into their eyes and they into ours. To borrow a term from Orwell, they and their families are the “unpeople” of our times, that is to say, people who have been effectively erased and forgotten about by the state and the world at large. For all its faults, my decision to publish this photo here today is a tribute to their very existence and their remarkable resilience.

 

If you’re interested in helping destitute children like this in Pakistan, here are links to two very respectable organisations where you can donate money:

 

edhi.org/children-services/

prcs.org.pk/donate/

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Taken on November 30, 2017