Altaf Qadri

“Prolific and perceptive” is how the @nytimes describes @altafqadri . In his Instagram series on “India Looking For Hope”, Qadri tells the story of a desperately poor, barely educated and homeless family, living on a wooden fruit vendor’s cart, on the fringes of New Delhi, with their hopes pinned on their 7-year son Farmaan who goes to school. The Khan family survives mostly through begging, but, it was Farmaan’s mother, Ruby Khan, who insisted, against her husband’s wish, that her son would go to school.

“I take photographs to create a difference,” he says as he delivers his Ted Talk, a truth one sees in every story he tells. Don’t miss this simple, yet evocative narration of Farmaan’s life, whose story is a mirror reflection of many children in India. 

From the conflict in Kashmir, to political turmoil and major natural disasters, Altaf Qadri’s work lends humanism and insight to his every frame. To get a glimpse of his cutting-edge work follow him on Instagram, twitter and his website.

7-year-old Farmaan poses for a photograph near his home, a wooden fruit vendor’s cart, in New Delhi, India. For this Indian family, desperately poor, barely educated and living on the fringes of New Delhi life, hope can be found in their boy with huge eyes and scraggly hair.

Farmaan, back to camera, lies next to his three-month-old sister Razia on a wooden fruit vendor’s cart, which is his home, as they wake up on a cold morning in New Delhi, India.

Ruby Khan and Nisar Khan help their son Farmaan with his homework as they sit on a wooden fruit vendor’s cart, which is their home, in New Delhi, India. Simply by staying in school Farmaan has become the focus of the family’s dreams.

Farmaan, drinks tea as his father Nasir Khan and his mother Ruby Khan tend to their three-month-old daughter Razia.

Ruby Khan and her son Armaan Khan roll up a plastic tarp which acts as a roof on the wooden fruit vendor’s cart they call home, while her husband, and son Ajmeri, keep themselves warm under a blanket on a cold morning in New Delhi, India.

Ruby Khan helps Farmaan get ready for school.

Farmaan walks towards his school.

13-year-old Ajmeri, walks his younger brother Farmaan to school.

Farmaan studies at Salaam Baalak Trust, an NGO working for street children, in New Delhi, India.

Farmaan, waits to be served lunch meals at Salaam Baalak Trust.

Ruby Khan, holds her 3-month old daughter Razia as she asks from alms near Jama Mosque in New Delhi, India.

Farmaan, studies for school, watched by his father, while his mother plays with his infant sister.

Farmaan falls asleep on a pile of their belongings. City authorities regularly clear out the squatter camp and often destroy whatever they find. Because of that, some members of the Khan family sleep on a wooden fruit vendor’s cart the size of a large door, with the rest squeezing under a plastic tarp tied to a nearby wall. If the authorities arrive, the family can quickly pile everything they own, clothes, blankets, birth certificates, bags of whatever, onto the cart and roll it away.

The Khan family, led by their father, make their way to a temple to receive donations and free food in New Delhi, India.

Farmaan, and other homeless and daily wage laborers keep themselves warm around a bonfire in New Delhi, India.

Farmaan falls asleep while attending to his 3-month-old sister Razia.

Farmaan looks out from his home, as it drizzles in New Delhi, India.