Governing Board 2017-18
Nawshir Mirza - Chartered Accountant & Independent Board Director
Madhusudan Menon - Chartered Accountant & Chairperson, Micro Housing Finance Corporation
Abhiroop Mukhopadyay - Professor of Economics, The Indian Statistical Institute
Pradeep Narayan - Director, Praxis
Nilima Mehta - Social Work Professor & Child Rights Expert
Vikas Srivastava - Senior Partner Luthra & Luthra Of ces
Kajol Devasmita Menon, Co-Founder, Leher
Nicole Rangel Menezes, Co-Founder, Leher

Leher Team 2017-18
Kajol Devasmita Menon
Nicole Rangel Menezes
Nipa Bhansali
Richa Nagaich
Tasha Koshi
Shreeradha Mishra

Cover Photo
Aamir Wani

Design By
nb design co.



Dear Friends,
It gives us pleasure to present to you Leher’s work via our annual report for 2017-2018. Leher focuses on promoting a preventive approach to child protection.

In this, our fifth year, in keeping with the spirit of our name, Leher, we saw ripples set off by our work gather momentum resulting preventive child protection conversations finding space in larger organizations and the child protection system.

This year our child protection community lab in Madhubani stepped into the fifth year. It has been transformative for the communities, our partner SPS (Sarvo Prayas Sanstha) and Leher as together we learned, observed, and facilitated this journey. The Madhubani experience has enabled Leher contribute knowledge and tools to the sector and enable scale up of preventive work across larger institutions.

In 2017 Leher entered into a partnership with the State Government of Maharashtra, and UNICEF to strengthen the implementation of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme in Maharashtra through work aimed at bringing communities to the centre of dialogue and action around keeping children safe and preventing harm, at home and in their families. This work will continue into 2018 and entails creating and disseminating a set of DIY tools for communities and young people to inform themselves, dialogue and act to keep children safe.

Our communication work whose goal it is to create a culture of child protection among those in positions of influence, widened our net for child protection through many successful collaborations, campaigns and dialogues across diverse groups in society. Our flagship campaign #LittleHumans, grew through a number of collaborations with NGOs, and travel bloggers. #EverydayChildhood has grown into a significant platform that engages photographers visual storytellers who have immense potential to influence the way their audiences view children, childhood and their issues.

We brought in the child protection lens into engagement with parents, activists, civil society organizations, writers, as we engaged them on topical issues such as school safety, online child safety, parenting, bullying, the refugee crisis to name some.

In a scenario where child protection is mostly attended to through curative interventions, Leher had the opportunity to promote prevention in some critical interventions by providing technical support. Leher provided technical support to the Delhi State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), who was given the mandate by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on an order from the Supreme Court relating to prison reform. Leher was engaged to develop a manual on improvement of living conditions in custodial care centres for children in conflict with law, with a view to children receiving better rehabilitation facilities and prevent recidivism. This year we also went back into Kashmir to document UNICEF and partners’ pilot Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) set up to help young people cope and address post conflict trauma and to identify learning and strategy to help UNICEF scale CFS to all the valley districts.

As we move forward from here, Leher is excited to continue to take forward promotion of the preventive thrust to child protection to diverse stakeholders in society. We thank our supporters and partners for being with us on this journey. We feel energized and motivated to move towards our goal—embedding preventive child protection approaches in all spaces that deliver to children.

Kajol Devasmita Menon & Nicole Rangel Menezes

  • 5 years of Leher's community- led preventive child protection programme
  • From a pilot project to handing over the baton to an empowered community
  • Creating a shared responsibility for the safety of children



2018 marks 5 years of Leher’s community-led preventive child protection programme in Madhubani, Bihar. From piloting a project in a backward district low on human development indicators, mobilizing communities to reflect inwards and collectively identify and ideate on feasible solutions to their problems, weaving together diverse community stakeholders to build a robust ecosystem for the safety of their children, and to finally working towards handing over the baton to an empowered community enabled and equipped to drive social change, the journey has been both challenging and exhilarating on many counts.

With the ambition to create a shared responsibility for making communities competent, self-reliant and active towards the safety of their children, we took parts of our learnings forward across states in India through technical partnerships in Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Bhutan.


APRIL 2017- MARCH 2018

Leher’s program in the district of Madhubani is active across 36 villages, reaching out to a population of 100000 persons through an active network of 700 adults and children through 36 Village Child Protection Committees and 27 Children’s groups. The real change has been seen in the growth of 12 Village Child Protection Committees and 6 VCPC have metamorphosed into self-acting bodies, actively taking on children’s issues, independently.



The development of impact indicators for Village Child Protection Committees was undertaken to draw insights and learnings and to identify milestones in the progress made by community based informal groups working on the mandate of child protection.

Based on principals of inclusive and democratic participation, the indicators cover a range of components, divided into two broad categories – structural and functional. The data collected against the indicators give insights on the robustness of the village child protection committees as a collective and assess their progress in fulfilling the mandate of working on child protection.


Our community-driven preventive child protection model has been a mixed bag of successes, learnings and challenges that have helped us define a way forward. It was a deep-dive with our grassroots partner, Sarvo Prayas Sanstha and, discussions, debates and data analysis with the VCPC’s themselves, that transpired strategies to further our work.

With introspection, information-sharing and intent, we were able to find the degree of clarity, perspective, trust and transparency required to build strong, capable and independent committees that would truly change the ecosystem for the rights of children in each village.


A self-assessment tool based on the impact indicators was developed for the Village Child Protection Committees’ to help them assess themselves on various parameters of their performance. A similar assessment was undertaken by the block facilitators working with the village child protection committees’ (VCPC) too. This included representation, participation, democratic process, regularity, issues addressed, cases intervened, challenges, interface with community, interface with adolescent children groups, liaison and interface with the child protection system at the block and district level, liaison with block level departments towards availing social protection entitlements, self-learning, monitoring and evaluation.

A self-assessment tool based on the impact indicators was developed for the Village Child Protection Committees’ to help them assess themselves on various parameters of their performance. A similar assessment was undertaken by the block facilitators working with the village child protection committees’ (VCPC) too. This included representation, participation, democratic process, regularity, issues addressed, cases intervened, challenges, interface with community, interface with adolescent children groups, liaison and interface with the child protection system at the block and district level, liaison with block level departments towards availing social protection entitlements, self-learning, monitoring and evaluation.

Today, 11 villages in 3 blocks i.e 11 VCPC’s have graduated to the next phase of functioning, weaning off the role of NGO support, recognized by the community as autonomous bodies responsible for advancing the rights of children.

If you walk around Kamalawari in Pandaul village of Madhubani, Bihar, you might spot a young girl who reaches the community centre first, eagerly waiting for her friends and peers to arrive for the children’s group meeting. Her name is Sheela.

Her family is very poor. Sheela went to neighbourhood government school, 3.5 kms away from her home, in Belahi. Her mother is deceased. Her older brother worked in another city while her father begged at the railway station in Madhubani town. Most days Sheela lived alone. Her older sister was married and lived in another village. Sheela studied in class 8.

Sheela wasn’t part of the Girl’s Group, but frequently interacted with its member, many of whom were her friends. Mangu Ram who was a school teacher and a rich, powerful man in the village. Under the pretext of giving her home tuitions, he lured Sheela gradually and raped her, perhaps repeatedly.

Some girls from the Girl’s Group decided to visit Sheela one day as she had not been attending school from a few days. On reaching Sheela’s home, the Girl’s Group members found her alone and bleeding. The Girl’s Group members immediately informed the VCPC and Sheela was taken to the Sadar hospital accompanied by VCPC members and Girl’s Group members. On probing, it was discovered that Sheela underwent an abortion at 8 months, at a private clinic, pressured by Mangu Ram.

The adolescent girls and VCPC, guided by Sarvo Prayas Sanstha, supported Sheela during her treatment at the hospital and once she returned home after getting discharged from the hospital. They convinced Sheela’s brother to register a case against Mangu Ram. It was understood that Mangu Ram made many offers of money at the police station. Sheela’s story spread across the village, and was brought to the attention of Superintendent of Police by VCPC and Sarvo Prayas Sanstha, who ordered Mangu Ram’s urgent arrest.

After selling his land, paying bribes and threatening Sheela, he was arrested a month later at the Madhubani Bus stop, under the Protection of Children from sexual offence Act, 2012. It was the young girls of the village and the Children’s group that supported Sheela both emotionally and mentally, convincing her not to compromise or settle. While on bail, Mangu Ram approached Sheela’s father with a Rs. 2 lakh settlement, only to be told that it was Sheela’s decision.

Sheela’s fight for justice continues as the case is ongoing in court. Despite numerous threats, she stood her ground, and stands tall as an example to many other girls in her village.


“We all say child labour is bad. But Ram & Shyam have been working, and no one is doing anything to help them!”, said a concerned boy at the Children’s Group meeting.

Ram & Shyam Kumar were brothers of the Malas or fisherman caste who lived in Shahpur village in Pandaul. Their mother had died when they were much younger, and their father remained busy as a daily wage labourer. Since a single man daily wage couldn’t manage the education of two young boys, the brothers decided to take on part time jobs.

Ram started working at a tea stall outside the Madhubani court campus, 8 kms from his house, while Shyam worked at a tea stall near Jaynagar railway station, a 35 km commute (to and fro) each day. Instead of going to school, they ended up working full time, from 7 am to 7 pm, for Rs. 400 per month.

A concerned young girl from the Children’s Group decided to visit Ram & Shyam’s school to find out about them. On speaking with their teacher, she realized that they had been absent from school for 6 months. At ages 12 and 14, they were working to make a living as opposed to learning in school. On jointly approaching the boys, the VCPC and Children’s Group learnt that the boys had been working to pay for school, but had been bullied by the tea stall owners to work full time, not received their payment, and only been given food and Rs.10 for their commute.

A VCPC member, along with two girls from the Children’s group (who wanted to observe how such matters are dealt with) made a visit to the tea stall owner. On questioning Ram’s employer, about how he could employ a child, the owner said that Ram was working voluntarily. The VCPC member told him of the consequences (being sent to jail) if the Labour Superintendent was to find out. People gathered around during this conversation also agreed that child labour was a crime. Ram was paid his dues and the owner promised never to employ a child again.

The next day, a few VCPC members, including a ward member went to meet the owner of the tea stall Shyam worked at. They brought to his notice the legal implications of employing a child and asked that Shyam be paid his pending payment of Rs. 5000.

Today, Ram & Shyam are enrolled in school, and have been standing first in class ever since. The VCPC and Children’s Group helped them buy books and clothes from the money they earned. Shyam also gives tuitions to other students in his village, free of cost.


Early marriage in Sisai Village, Bisfi is common place. Girls were geared towards household chores and caring for their younger siblings. They were second class citizens in their own homes, having to place the needs of their fathers and brothers before their own, sacrificing their education, freedom and equality on every count, prepping towards the same role in her husband’s home.

Mona was 16 years old, and she had felt love for the first time.

She was part of the children’s group in her village where they actively challenge traditional norms and are aware of legal provisions to protect children.

Lalu on the other hand, was 21 years, and wanting to elope and marry Mona. But Mona was adamant that she would not marry until she turned 18, wanting to hold off marriage for 2 years. Mona, wanting to find a solution for her dilemma and also create awareness on child marriage in her village requested her fellow Children’s Group member, Preeti, to raise this issue in the upcoming meeting.

As the discussion for the day proceeded, Mona was candid about her wish to marry Lalu, but was also certain that she would wait until she was legally permitted to marry. The Children’s Group shared this with the Village Child Protection Committee (VCPC) Secretary who spoke with Lalu and explained that there was no harm in the both of them getting married, however since Mona was not yet of marriageable age, they would have to wait.

Lalu agreed in principle, but started coercing Mona to run away with him a few days later. Mona Kumari flatly refused. Once again, Lalu was called by the VCPC and informed of the ramifications of flouting the Child Marriage Act. When Mona Kumari turned 18 in 2018, she and Lalu got married.


  • Bringing restorative practices into the functioning of the child protection system
  • Providing technical support to develop and build capacities of the government & civil society
  • Documenting child friendly spaces & emergency intervention for children in conflict areas


While comprehensive laws for child protection have been enacted, they remain lacking in implementation. Services for children in particular are limited, inaccessible and lack quality. Leher builds on the existing by assessing the child protection system for loopholes, and looks for feasible solutions to tackle them. We do this by undertaking research, capacity building and evaluation, strengthening child protection systems in varied set ups, with the ambition to create a robust ecosystem where children can thrive.

Work this year included learning on in the discipline of restorative justice with the objective of looking at ways to bring restorative practices into the functioning of the child protection system, technical support to develop and build capacities of the government and civil society in Bhutan to engage youth in preventing violence against children, and facilitating capacity building and documenting child friendly spaces and emergency intervention for children affected by the unrest in Kashmir in 2016-2017.


A large part of 2017-18 was spent on building knowledge and skills for practicing restorative approaches within the juvenile justice framework, and towards widening application of restorative approaches to child protection work in India.

Leher is working to incubate a project that draws on restorative practices for the rehabilitation planning and reintegration of children in conflict with law with their families and communities. This pilot project addresses the gap of meaningful rehabilitation and reintegration which currently exists in the juvenile justice system in the country.


We provided technical support to UNICEF Bhutan for a consultative process towards the development of a manual for young people across the country, to be sensitized, self-trained, and engaged to respond and act to end violence against children.

This was a collaboration between UNICEF Bhutan, Department of Youth and Sports, key national NGOS including RENEW, Youth Development Fund, the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, and the Dratshang Lhentshog (The Commission for Monastic Affairs Bhutan). This activity included developing the training modules, preparing the training manual, two rounds of capacity building workshops to train Youth Managers from Department of Youth and Sports, and monks and nuns from the Dratshang Lhentshog, Bhutan, to take facilitate processes with youth, and the preparation of a pocket book of key messages for youth.

The content of the manual provided conceptual understand of children’s rights, violence against children; provided skills to help youth keep themselves safe, conduct themselves responsibly, seek support from adults in the environment and each other, get organized to work individually and collectively; and a set of tools to enable them gather information, analyse information, formulate plans, and undertake advocacy.


Letting In The Sun: Child Friendly Spaces For Children is a documentation of the pilot child friendly spaces established by UNICEF and partner agencies in Kashmir. These centres were set up as recreation cum rehabilitation centres for children affected by prolonged unrest and conflict in Kashmir in 2016.

This report brought attention to the issues faced by children affected by conflict in Kashmir, documented good practices in the CFS centers, analysed early impact of the centres on children and their families, and reflected on challenges faced in running such centres in a context of unrest. Finally, the report made recommendations and offered deliberations on scaling up direct work with children in these communities.


In partnership with the State Government of Maharashtra and UNICEF, Leher started work in mid-2017 to strengthen child protection systems in across the state of Maharashtra. This saw the coming together of the State Government of Maharashtra, and various stakeholders in child protection; Namely, Maharashtra State Child Protection Society (MSCPCS), District Child Protection Units (DCPU), NGOs, and research bodies.

The locus of this partnership is to galvanize communities’ participation and leadership in the child protection system, through development of knowledge, dissemination, and building technical competent local organizations in the state to anchor this faced of child protection work.


  • Identified and built the capacity of a partner agency (All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG)) to conduct the District Need Assessment study (DNA) for Mumbai Suburban

  • Designed a participatory DNA methodology to capture the nuances of an urban district

  • District Child Protection Need Assessment Study Report was prepared and presented before the Maharashtra District Administration and worked in collaboration with the partner agency and UNICEF to initiate a process to create an evidence-based Child Protection Plan for the district

  • Outline for an interactive Virtual Companion (comprehensive do it yourself kit) to guide and assist child protection committees at the village level incorporating tradition folk music, folklore, and styles from across rural Maharashtra. Developed content for 8 films with a scratch version for 1 film, and 2 IEC materials, that shall form part of the Village Child Protection Committee Kit at the community level


For 2018-19, Leher will drive the plans for phase I to completion, including the creation and dissemination of an audio-visual kit (8 films, IEC materials, and manual for DCPU staff). Additionally, Leher shall undertake District Need Assessment Studies in 2 additional districts with capacities of 2 resource organizations built to conduct DNA and consultative workshop engaging child protection system personnel at the state level to look at strategies for making ICPS implementation effective and suited to the unique needs of districts.


Capturing our field-work in action, frames from the field act as testimonies to our daily work happening across geographies, providing a visual glimpse of struggles fought and battles won, steadily building a safe space for children.

  • Working towards a tangible vision of the child rights movement
  • Exploring new ways of communicating and changing behaviours towards protecting children
  • Partnering with stakeholders across sectors, weaving in a context to children


At Leher, we channel our expertise in communications, advocacy, and storytelling to work towards a tangible vision of the child rights movement. One that embraces the cross-disciplinary spirit of current times, and brings together photographers, artists, technologists, social scientists, parents, youth and those fed up with the state of skewed power equations and justice for children. We envision a movement that thinks beyond usual strategies, and taps the potential of emerging technologies to create new ways of communicating and changing behaviours towards protecting children.

We partner with activists, organizations, writers, amongst others to develop a customized approach that addresses the specific social justice challenges they are fighting, weaving in a context to children. We’ve worked to break through narratives in order to change public perceptions and opinions; we’ve developed specially designed initiatives that cultivate new ways of seeing hotly contested issues, like juvenile justice and death penalty; we’ve built campaigns that reach wide audiences in a landscape of over-saturated and fractured channels, and we are on a path, distant though the dream maybe.


In an advocacy landscape where resources are scarce and competition for mindshare is high, successful campaigns help break through the clutter, mobilize energies and emotions, turning non-supporters into effective messengers for social change. Inspired by brewing movements in the space of women empowerment, climate change and farmer’s rights in India, Leher has worked on a host of pint-sized and large-scale campaigns with the ambition to draw young and influential factions of the public, to craft in their own unique way, a culture that is conducive for children to thrive.

With powerful storytelling at the heart of most of our campaigns, we worked with peers and the public (often insulated from children’s issues) to develop a more nuanced view of children’s issues, and design a stronger and more unified voice in support of the rights of children.


Children are victims of violence every day, everywhere. Violence against children cuts across boundaries of geography, class, religion and culture. It occurs in homes, schools and streets; in institutions and day care centres, in cyberspace and across sectors and industries. Perpetrators include parents, family, teachers, caretakers, law enforcers, strangers and sometimes even a child’s friends and peers. There is no place or space, country or city immune to violence. The consequences of violence can be devastating and irreparable, especially on children.

To end the cycle of violence in childhood, we brought stories of violence against children that are all too familiar, yet, disconnected from our everyday conversations. From child marriage, corporal punishment to harassment against adolescent girls, the campaign urged audiences to end the culture of violence, not childhoods.



Back in 2009, the RTE Act was touted to be a milestone legislation, seeking to realise the fundamental right to education for all children (6-14 years). 8 years later it brought to the fore the depth of caste and class prejudices, the singling out of weaker sections and disadvantaged groups, the glaring gender gap, the burden of reaching school safely, the widening crevices in its implementation, all unhidden inside a classroom. On the flip side, it lit the fire of learning and hope, and acted as a ticket to a bright future for child and parents on the other side of the margin.

At a time when experts were deliberating on the no-detention policy, the hike in fees, the often-rancid mid-day meals, grimy toilets and unskilled and unimaginative teachers, we created a campaign to remind audiences of the very premise of the RTE i.e education for all, and the collective fight to ensure it becomes a reality.



For children living in an unknown land, having crossed over borders, away from home and war – some without parents, others without their belongings, they often find themselves trapped in their status as ‘refugees’. The connotations of this word come with far lying implications – bereft of access to nutritious food, safe playgrounds, nurturing schools, adequate healthcare and almost defenseless to abuse and violence, falling right back into a war of struggle, survival and identity.

Even in the most challenging situations, they show fortitude, resilience and strength, often, at the cost of their childhood being taken away too early and their rights being denied.

Our campaign, no country for children, told stories of the refugee crisis, from the lens of children, who grapple each day in a place away from home.



A helpless father was beaten to death for protesting the violation of his young daughter in Unnao, a lawyer took on the case of a Bakarwal girl, raped and killed in Kathua because she believed that this fight was for her daughter too, and thousands of parents took to the streets, attended marches, formed action groups and took to social media to express their horror and grief at the brutal abuse of two little girls, just like their own

With changing times and circumstances, parents are adapting, inventing and grappling with new styles to raise children. We the parents, saw parents across India share their real-life experiences, highlighting what it’s like to raise a child in 2018. ‘Parenting’ as a concept engaged larger audiences, connecting to these real struggles almost instantly, adding nuances and layers to an important conversation to keep children safe.



We have all been bullied at some point in our lives. Taunted and hit in the classroom, called nasty names, excluded at the playground, cornered on the bus or had our lunch money stolen. Some of us continue to be bullied, long after our childhood days, because we didn’t have someone to stand up for us, or we didn’t have the courage or support to face the bully ourselves.

At its core, bullying is violence against children, against their rights to respect and dignity, and infringes on the basic human rights values of inclusion, participation and non-discrimination. Allowing a bullying culture to flourish can have serious impact on a child’s physical, mental, moral and social development. One insidious though pervasive issue is the bullying culture in schools that also finds a space online, often shrugged of as a childhood rite of passage.

No Bullies Allowed created awareness, dialogue, shared tips and solutions for children, parents and schools in tackling the widespread issue of bullying amongst children and adolescents, both online and offline.


Leher’s ambition to create a platform for children’s voices to be heard, translated into 20+ collaborations and 150+ volunteers, bringing 1000+ stories of childhoods across India. These stories illustrated how children think, feel, analyse, absorb, share, care, play, stay and live in today’s times.


A skatepark in Janwaar, Madhya Pradesh, breaking traditional norms of patriarchy and gender disparity, casteism and discrimination, and addressing poverty and scarcity with children at the centre of social change.


A bandwagon of 17 year olds, at the cusp of adulthood, serving the most under-served Municipal Ward in India’s wealthiest city, Mumbai, building hope in a once hopeless place.


For children of Saraswatipur in Siliguri, whose future opportunities in life were limited to work in tea estates, their encounter with Rugby proved to be a tool for social development. Their representation at the state and national Rugby teams is testimony to the same.


Stories of children from the tribal hinterlands of Chhattisgarh bring to light the everyday struggles and triumphs of Adivasis to the fore, anecdotes of conflict, displacement, atrocities, farming, environment, advocating the dying culture, traditional practices, food and language, that honestly represent the ‘Adivasi philosophy for life and living’.


Filled with childhood memories of crackdowns, encounters, search operations, and curfews, Aamir Wani went back to his hometown to document the real lives of children, who have accepted conflict as a part of their everyday normal lives.


Everydaychildhood works to build a network of instagrammers, photographers and visual storytellers who have immense potential to influence the way their audiences view children, childhood and their issues. Leher engaged 1000+ photographers across geographies and genres, with the #everydaychildhood hashtag being used 10,000+ times.

Nominated at the Social Media 4 Empowerment Awards, 2018

Leher was nominated for Everydaychildhood under the Communication, Advocacy & Development Activism Category at the SM4E awards, 2018. We were amongst the top 12 of 180 entries.

  • Pulling together diverse groups of people to translate into action justice for children
  • Leverage on the mobilization and muscle of a digital and networked culture to build a child rights movement
  • Creating lasting partnerships to case a wider net, making children's issues everybody's business


With technological changes, the recent decade has proved to be a great opportunity for campaigners, cementing the path for many social issues that never made it to our collective conscience earlier. Children’s issues have remained in the lurches for decades now, making the way forward a difficult and daunting journey. Our efforts have been focused on pulling together diverse groups of people, their perspectives and ideas, to translate into action the much-needed justice for children.

A people powered approach, leveraged on the mobilization and muscle of a digital and networked culture shall contribute signifcantly to the maturation of a child right’s movement in India.

Therefore, to cast a wider net, make children’s issues important to everybody, creating lasting partnerships and collaborations is a key ingredient in a forward-looking journey.


Technology continues to shapeshift at a rapid pace, altering the way we consume information, make choices and stay engaged. At this juncture, standing out in a crowded online world, staying relevant and being heard becomes primary, even if is for a social issue like children’s rights. Why has the issue of education, child sexual abuse and corporal punishment generated more talk and action than other issues, we wonder? That’s why, the power of here and now becomes imperative to make child rights topical and pertinent.

Through our blogs, we aim to create deeper engagement, by weaving in the child rights agenda into contemporary conversations.


Inspired by Google doodles, Leher’s doodles have mostly celebrated festivals and holidays. Nowadays, they highlight events, anniversaries, milestone dates and even calendar days. From children’s day to Christmas, from Mother’s Day to Makar Sankranti, From the Stephan Hawking’s passing to Section 377, there’s a doodle for each day.


Our campaigns were designed to engage with individuals and collectives of photojournalists and photographers, to recognize and regale real stories of children, through their lens. Our efforts were met with narratives often hidden from plain sight, making their way into the mainstream.

Arjun Chabbra: When one steps into Katpulti Colony, one instantly notices children roaming the streets, bhangra beats emanating from their tiny dhols. This is their school, their education. Others run through gallis, crying for the camera’s attention as some children run by on their way to magic class, a poor man’s Hogwarts. With parents losing their jobs, poor access to basic facilities of education, sanitation, health, and permanent risks of eviction, every child in this slum has a different story to tell, beautifully told by Arjun Chabbra.

Raj Rajeshwar: Having lived and grown up in Madhya Pradhesh, Raj’s depiction of the lives of children across remote villages in the state is real and authentic, almost bringing to life their childhoods.

Soheb Qureshi: This street photographer captures the faces and places that make Mumbai the ‘city of dreams’, reflecting his love for a place he calls home. What he captures rather effortlessly are the lives of children across the streets and slums of Mumbai.

Ravikanth Kant: Published in National Geographic, The Guardian and many international magazines and newspapers alike, he has won many awards and his work has been displayed in an art show in Berlin. Ravi Kant’s documentation of the lives of children going to school in a land with limited access to basic services for children – Spiti Valley, reflects his passion for storytelling in every frame.

Riccardo Melzi: From Nandgaon, Vrindavan, Barsana to Varanasi, Riccardo was drawn to the pivot of religious grandeur in India accompanied by his camera. While religious freedom is a fundamental right in India, this Italian photographer beautifully captured the nuanced and convoluted relationship between children and religion.

Aslam Saiyad: On the banks of the Dahisar river inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, are Adivasi communities fighting to hold on to their lives which are heavily dependent on natural resources in and around the forests – the river being one of the most important resources. Aslam Saiyad tells the stories of these rivers, through the lives of the Adivasi communities and their children.


Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Chief Photographer, Associated Press for Middle-East, Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001, Muhammed Muheisen needs no introduction. Having photographed the capture of Saddam Hussein, the funeral of Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat, amongst other defining moments in world history, most recently Muheisen has focused his lens on the refugee crisis across Europe.

No stranger to conflict himself, Muheisen’s work stands out like none other. His images reflect his compassion, his commitment to the art of photography, and his unwavering engagement with the lives and the issues that surround him. “Children are the real victims of conflict,” he says, often capturing the innocent cheer and simplicity of his subject’s life, staying away from cliches that such scenes often present. Muheisen’s outlook to conflict, children and his desire to tell honest stories, awaken humanity and change his narrative entirely.


Real and raw portrayals of motherhood are rejecting the reductive notion of mothers as passive caregivers, turning instead to a language of bold empowerment that eschews the outdated either/or of motherhood and career, and shines a light on the expanding definition of modern motherhood. Young urban mothers, are writing blogs, taking on Instagram and creating collectives that are leading a positive new dialogue about what it means to be a mother.

From talking about porn and sex, decoding feminism and gender fluidity to rendering concepts like rape, parents today are grappling with raising their children. In 2017-18, we spent time reaching out to fathers, single mothers and same sex parents to understand and unhitch the woes and wonders of raising their children. Chandrika Rao, the mother of a teenage boy, tells some of her stories.


Anadita Palsule

"As a film-maker I am always looking out for stories. With Leher, I got a chance to actually interact face-to-face with children from different backgrounds and bring their small stories to the fore. This experience helped me develop new perspectives, and realise how different childhood dreams and aspirations are for children across villages and cities. Their innocent stories highlighted the dichotomy of childhoods across India – how simple and difficult life can be for children in different circumstances."

Anandita Palsule, is a design learner who studies film making at MIT Institute of Design, Pune.

Mohit Pandey

"Documenting the lives of children was indeed an eye-opening experience for me. I felt a greater sense of responsibility knowing that taking their voices to a larger group of people could potentially change their lives. This experience has encouraged me to want to contribute to the cause of children, and help improve their lives."

Mohit Pandey is a young travel photographer, pursuing his BFA in Photography at the Jawaharlal Nehru Fine Arts University in Hyderabad.

Abhilash Safai

"I have always believed that photography is a great medium to bring to light the real voices and stories of people in need. With Little Humans, I had the opportunity to do that for children too. It is platforms like this that have truly captured the spirit of childhood!"

Abhilash is a young photographer who strives to explore and understand different types of communities and the triumph of the human spirit through his work.

  • Balance sheet as of March 31, 2018

FINANCIALS 2017 - 2018


Nuvo- Chrys Capital
Dalal Engineering Private. Ltd
Atlas Equifn Private Ltd.
National Development Foundation
SCPCR, Delhi
Tata Trust
Chhotay Taare Foundation
Central Institute of Budhist Studies
DCPU, Gwalior

Dr. Shashi Kapoor
Ms. Rajalaxmi Ambady
Mr.Rohit Chopra HUF
Messrs Dixit Infotech

Madhuri Vaidya
Sriram Subramanium
Nipun Thorat
Chandrika Rao
Havovi Wadia
Aamir Wani