Entry Title: "Tulips Of Another Kind"
Name: Omer Sidat , Pakistan
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story|Children|Portrait_P|Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional


Entry Description: Child Labor is a plague haunting the streets, markets, and workshops of many third world countries. The children photographed in this series wander the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, as Garbage Collectors during weekdays. Their Sundays are spent at the Sunday Market, where they work to carry the load for shoppers. These children are between the ages of 8 to 14 years, an age suitable for a child to play, study and live freely, none of which is true in the life of these innocent children. They are as delicate as buds of tulips, yet they are, “Tulips of Another Kind”.

Story: Child Labor is a plague which haunts the streets, markets, workshops and factories of many third world countries. According to a recent report, more than 220 million children, aged 5 to 17, are subject to child labor all around the world. It is an international evil which requires cumulative efforts on part of the Governments and the people at large to create a long overdue awareness and to wipe this plague out of its roots. The children photographed in this body of work roam around on weekdays on the streets of Karachi – Pakistan, as Garbage Collectors, collecting paper, metal shavings, pet bottles and anything else they could attribute a value to and for which they can get a buck out of the mass contractors who are their customers. On Sundays, their day is spent at the Sunday Market, where they work to carry the load for shoppers visiting the market. The children photographed in this series are either the sole bread earners for their families, or work and act as supplemental collaborators to their family’s income pool. The children in this series are all between the ages of 8 to 14 years, an age, rightfully suited for a child to play, acquire education and have a worry-free life, none of which is true in the life of these innocent children. Like every other child, these children too are indeed as delicate as buds of Tulips, yet they are, “Tulips of Another Kind”!

About the Artist:

Many years of my life have been spent in a search for "Moments Of Light", and to Capture such a moment of light, or it’s so called absence, whenever an opportunity would present itself. In my pursuit of finding and capturing light, I chose photography as my medium of expression. Throughout my years in photography, whenever I have placed my eye behind a viewfinder, or more recently, gazed at a live-view LCD on occasions, I have become assured and reassured, that there is no such thing as "Absence of Light". These “Moments Of Light” may be literal or it may even be philosophical; an event, which may trigger a series of thoughts, a happening which may change the way we look at our lives, a smile camouflaging unbearable pains underneath, chapped fingers of a child not because of play but as a result of labor, wrinkles on an elderly face telling a story long forgotten; nature and the treasures it holds for us, the clouds, the seas, the sands, the greens, the barrens, the awe-inspiring details of an insect no larger than a grain of sand, the gigantic deathly snow-covered peaks which only few are able to conquer, the actions and reactions that last a mere split of a second, and many such moments, which become a slice of history when captured and preserved as a photograph. I started photography with a Minolta 110 camera received as a gift from my Mom on my 12th birthday. Over the years, photography for me has turned into a passion and a way of expressing my point of view. I am a Professional Manager and Textile Technologist during the weekdays and an artist with a camera and lens by nights and weekends. Throughout these years, I have remained a student of Photography, learning something new every passing day and continuing to remain to be a student of this lucid form of expression. Do you see the "Light"? Look again..... You Surely Will !!