To investigate the perils of child labour, an IIT-Kharagpur student today embarked on a marathon 2500 km bicycle ride from Kolkata to Mumbai.
Equipped with a camera, Ujjawal Chauhan aims to capture the living status of children through his lens all along the way as he criss-crosses many states, cities, towns and villages.
"I'd been lucky enough to have a fulfilling childhood and ample opportunities. However, in India, millions of children do lack the same means and I intend to dedicate my journey to each one of them. With CRY's support, I want to bring their voices to the fore," Ujjawal told reporters.
The final year student of ocean engineering in IIT-Kgp has already bagged an enviable job in Singapore but decided to utilise his month-long break in between for a social cause.
This month-long cycle trip, named 'Ride4ChildRights' is part of the national campaign on child labour by CRY (Child Rights and You).
"His journey is a quest to find out the impact that the child labour law has in eliminating child labour. He plans to use photography as a tool to study the changes that the law has brought about in the lives of children involved in work," Atindranath Das, regional director of CRY, said.
Currently, the Union Ministry of Labour estimates the total magnitude of child labour in India at approximately 10 million.
To encourage the youth, Tollywood's leading actor Prosenjit Chatterjee and sports icons like Chuni Goswami, Jose Ramirez Barreto and Mehtab Hossain were present at the flag off.
After spending the first night at Kolaghat, Ujjawal will be soloing all the way through Sambalpur in Odisha and Raipur in Chhattisgarh, and finally via Nagpur, Akola, Ourangabad and Pune in Maharashtra. He is expected to reach Mumbai on June 30.
Ujjawal's works would later be a part of the pan-India annual photography campaign 'Click Rights 2014'.