When in 2010 the twenty-six-year-old New Yorker, Brandon Stanton began an ambitious photography project to create “an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants” called the “Humans of New York” (HONY) he had no idea that he was creating a social media revolution. His photography project that uses social media to bring out the extraordinary stories of ordinary people has grown into a cause for humanity. His journey has inspired several young people to follow in his footsteps, of stepping out there, and bringing stories of hope, love, fear, sadness, joy, – just the whole palette of emotions humans are capable of feeling. Karishma Mehta, founder of the “Humans of Bombay” is one them. In a short span of time, her photo project documenting the lives of the people in the “city of dreams”, has grown to become immensely popular. Her aim is to catalogue the “beat of the city, one story at a time.”
In a society of growing isolation, where we are increasingly spending more time in the virtual world, these stories act as invisible connectors. They bring us closer to each other and serve as reminders for reality checks. They inspire us and prove to us that indeed, not all heroes wear capes. But more than anything else, they rekindle our faith in humanity. They remind us that the people around us may be strangers, but they too are human. Because somewhere in their stories we find our own.
What resonated with us the most were the stories of Little Humans… representing the lives of children in Mumbai in a very raw and real manner. Because, sometimes the littlest people have the biggest stories to tell.
“I have the best parents in the world — baba is a repair man and my aai teaches tailoring and mehendi creation to children in our colony. They work extra hard to put us in English Medium schools — everyday when I go home, I tell my mother everything I learnt in class and it’s as if she’s in school with me…she’s so excited! One of my favourite things to do is watch YouTube videos and make things — my aai and baba brought me a hot glue gun that’s my favourite toy! Just last week, I made an ATM machine for home using my ID card and a few spare coins — my whole family was thrilled! Last year, I got a few pale patches on my back, but my parents thought it was because I fell off my cycle and applied an ointment — but they didn’t go away. In fact, they increased and I got a very high fever — the tests revealed that I actually have severe Aplastic Anaemia. I’ve read about it on the internet, and everyday I try to give Doctor uncle some new treatment options — he’s always smiling at me. To be honest, I miss being in school and creating. I love studying and making things — just yesterday I made a small toy car using some spare parts and bolts — all the didis here were so impressed that they clapped for me! I also ordered a thermometer online, so I can check my own temperature — anytime it rises above 98 degrees, I myself call my nurse didi — I can’t wait to get better! I’m very happy, but I know I am in danger … I don’t know how aai and baba will do my treatment — I know it’s expensive, so the least I can do is put on a big smile! I hope I can go back to school and become a scientist…I pray to God everyday to help us and I believe he will listen!” — Shamail needs an URGENT bone marrow transplant. His parents have already exhausted all their savings on tests and medicines so far and have absolutely no way of gathering more. Shamail is so positive about his life, but he’s critical — he cannot survive this without our help. Please consider donating and tagging someone who can. Link in bio!