In the summer of 2008, I returned to my home in Kathmandu, Nepal for the first time since arriving in the United States in August 2005. The trip was a very emotional one for me, not just because I was reunited with my family, but because of the state I found my country to be in. The things I loved to do, food I enjoyed at various restaurants, places I was fond of visiting, etc. were all there and had not changed much. However, the population in the city had grown almost three-folds due to the political instability and lack of safety in the rural areas prior to this year's elections, while the city in itself had not grown enough to accommodate this growth. This rise in population had brought about a rise in the number of poor, and it was disheartening to find a copious number of beggars and homeless persons at almost every major part of town.
Seeing this, I felt the urge to go on the streets and spend time talking to these people and hearing their stories. So I spent more than half of my time in Nepal doing that. Many of these people encouraged me to take their pictures and hoped that I would be able to share with my 'western' friends those stories of how a majority of my underprivileged countrymen survive today.
My photographs are of those people whose stories I listened to. These are the pictures of people who scrounge for their meals everyday; pictures of children who were abandoned by their families, children who are breadwinners of their families and will starve if they attend school instead of working; pictures of families who live in dire conditions. It was not easy trying to pick out ten photographs for this exhibit, out of the hundreds of pictures that I captured, but I hope that through these photographs I will be able to shed some light on some of the true faces of my country.
Class of 2009