Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Memories: Reminiscing on the Past

Reminiscing on the past

As the hands of the time revolves around us, we are so preoccupied with life and eventually we tend to lose contact with our family albums. The pages of the albums are collecting dust in the corner of the room and the framed photographs just stand still. A quick glance from the corner of the eyes is all the attention it gets and we barely spend time to analyse the photographs. Family albums tell stories, a family history written and recorded in the form of visuals. That moment in time was frozen. Thus, the photograph became the only medium which takes us back in time. This project is an autobiography of a family's past memories, recalled  from selected photographs from a family's albums.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
The Holy Bible
I Corinthians 13: 4-7 (MSG)

There's a Light over the horizon
Though I may not know what lies ahead
I know that you'll be there
You'll be there
Chelsea Brandow

His name is Frisky
Her name is Shy
He hasten
But she restrained
He was too loud and lively
But she was calm and quiet
Yet they were the best of friends
And they still are

Like a long lost dream recalled
I remember that ferris wheel ride
It seemed unreal
But real memories don’t easily fade away

The cold wintry feeling is at it’s best
When you are around
Lookin’ forward to the next winter
When the family will be together again

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be...”
Brendan Graham
Rolf Løvland
The voice of life spoke to me
But I didn’t realize it
I turned a deaf ear
But heaven poured its mercy on me
Thus I was saved
O Silent Voice! my guardian angel
I longed to hear your voice
Open my eyes
Teach me your ways
And let me not astray

His wisdom overflowed in silvery white lines
His thoughts inked down each day
His humility shines on his face
His humour, a joy for all
His voice, always a soothing sound
A man of great deeds
Yet disrespected by his own blood
And many a times, his values ignored
But he is still strong as ever
No one else will ever take his place
He is and will always be the greatest

He looked through the iris
I stared back
A quick sharp sound
His world, captured in fractions of a second

Selflessness can be an inborn quality
But moreover, it is a divine quality

A long mane could have been perfect
But not like Rapunzel’s
Pretty girly curly long mane
As good as it looks
So can it be boring
So I chopped off the long mane
Quite a liberation!
Whoosh! with the spikes!
I didn’t have to wait for it to dry
The task ever getting simpler
But once ain’t enough again
As it gets shorter,
I have to stop until mom rings the alarm
So here I am
Walking towards the long mane again
Whether short or long
It is still a long winding road

For the life you’ve given us
The love you’ve poured on us
Blessing and honour be yours
Now and forever

Knowing we can spend a lifetime
Reminiscing on the past
Knowing I will see your face again
Where tender moment last
It makes me wanna be there
Knowing I won't be alone
Knowing you'll be there makes it easy to go home
Suzanne Jennings
Michael Sykes

Monday, February 6, 2012

Omex Mill  Community
Waiting for  the false promise   

This project is one of my class room projects at National Institute of Design (2010 -2011), where I went to explore one of the old textile mill workers' community in Ahmedabad, who were rendered jobless due to the replacement of indigenous textile mills by the power looms which started in the 1980s. By the end of the 1980s, many mills were shut down, leaving hundreds of people jobless. A rehabilitation fund was provided for them, but they received only a slice of it. The ex-mill workers have managed to move on, but most of them have have lost hope of receiving the fund which was promised to them. This project is a collection of family portraits of one of the textile mill communities, Omex Mill in Ahmedabad which was shut down in 1987. Had they received the full amount of the rehabilitation fund, their stories could have been different. 

Brief background of the Textile Mill workers in Ahmedabad:

The textile mill workers in Ahmedabad were rendered unemployed after the shutdown of vast numbers of mills in 1985. The government set up Textile Rehabilitation Fund Scheme to protect the interest of these workers, where by interim relief is given to the workers on a three years tapering basis – 75% of wage equivalent in the first year, 50% in the second year and 25% in the third year. Under this scheme the government sanctioned 14 crores for the workers but till now after more than 20 years, they have received only 7% of the amount[i]. Omex mill was among the unfortunate mills. In 2002, the workers received 1.1 crores from the due 14 crores. When the mill was shutdown, around 2000 workers were rendered jobless and at the present scenario, around 700 of the workers have expired, according to union leader Amar Barot (Textile Labour Association, Ahmedabad). Since its establishment in 1917, the Textile Labour Association (TLA) of Ahmedabad otherwise known as Mazdoor Mahajan has been representing and standing for the rights of the textile mill workers. This case has been presented and is currently being tackled in the High Court for over two decades and it is still going on. Due to the replacement of the indigenous mills by powerlooms, more than 60 mills have been shutdown since 1983. In between 1984- 1994, over 50,000 workers lost their jobs as a result of large-scale closure of mills in Ahmedabad alone. The National Renewal Fund (NRF) was set up as a social safety network intended for workers both in the public and in the private sectors, but this has been used only on public sector workers, ignoring the displaced workers in the private sector [ii]. Therefore, justice has also been biased.

Dhanjibhai Babubhai Waghela
Dhanjibhai’s family now earned their source of income through laundry services.
Ramesh C. Thakor and family
Ramesh and his wife support their family with by doing different kind of daily wage jobs.
Jeevanbhai Sasiya with his family
Jeevanbhai earned his daily wages as a labour worker for about 10 years. Later he open a small pan shop which his now his main source of income.

Chabuben Nathabhai Parmar 
Chabuben’s family now earned their living by making cardboard file holders. 
Ramanbhai Parmar with his family
Ramanbhai now worked in a factory to support his family.
Waghela H.L with his family. 
He now works as a salesman distributing products around different shops.
Maheshbhai Parmar with his wife and children at their front porch
He is also supporting his family through labour works.
Kanjibhai with his wife and daughter
Kanjibhai now works as a transport labourer to support his family.
Devendra Gangaram with his wife
Devendra now works at the Railway Station to earn his daily bread.
Kanthibhai Maganbhai Verma with his wife and daughters -in-law.
Kanthibhai is now supported by his sons.
Maganbhai with his wife and daughter
He is also supporting his family through daily wage jobs.
Pratapbhai with his father and wife
Pratapbhai’s family is now currently involved in rubber band packaging and other daily wage jobs.

[i]Textile Workers’ Rehabilitation FundScheme(TWRFS

[ii]Chowdhury, S.C (1996), Industrial Restructuring, Unions and the State: Textile Mill Workers in Ahmedabad, Economic and Political Weekly , February 24, 1996 Vol. 31, No. 8 , pp. L7-L13