Faces of: Kanchipuram, India

Kanchipuram is a rural village in the southern portion of India (Tamil Nadu). Through micro-lending programs, places like this thrive once they are able to secure loans for farming equipment and other small businesses. 

A village elder with his great-granddaughter. 

We were told the students at the Yes.Jay. Nursery and Primary School were child laborers at the nearby coal mine. The RIDE program was an NGO supporting schools like this to ensure these children received an education after working. Families rely on the $.50-$.80 a day their children may bring home in addition to the parents earnings.

These young ladies performed traditional dance routines learned at school.

Students in the Yes.Jay. School

I've always been transfixed by this little girl. She has a natural beauty and calm.

School allows these children to actually be children.

Small businesses empower the citizenry and help families in the community. This labor-intensive work will produce stunning sari's and tablecloths and other such material. 

A father in the village with his darling son. You could see the fathers hopes and dreams in the way he looked at his child.

Kids from the neighborhood.

Kids from the neighborhood.

I love this image and it's as much to do with the scene as it is the unflinching stare of the girl, showing no vulnerability self-consciousness.

What I love about this photo, and other cultures in general, is the genuine and physical affection that men show each other. It's very loving and caring, which in western culture can be viewed as a weakness in men bizarrely enough.

What I love about this photo, and other cultures in general, is the genuine and physical affection that men show each other. It's very loving and caring, which in western culture can be viewed as a weakness in men bizarrely enough.

This could be one of my all-time favorite photographs. There's an intensity and a softness simultaneously.

I'm not sure how many generations separate these two ladies but as with most Asian cultures, the grandparents take charge of the children while parents work.

This is a traditional kitchen found in these homes and communities. The enclosed fire shown here may not be as bad for families health as an open fire found in many third world communities, but they are still responsible for respiratory and related problems. MIT is among the thinktanks working to design a smokeless stove with the intent to improve the wellbeing of millions of people around the world.

Formal school uniform, no shoes required.

I love staring into peoples eyes and reading their emotions on their faces. Not something you can do casually but photography allows me that opportunity.

NGO's like RIDE in Tamil Nadu, India are on the forefront of community organization. You can visit these organizations and even volunteer with them to get first hand experience with underprivileged or underperforming communities. We found microlending programs to be the most positive for both communities and families so learning more about organizations that support and train women in microlending can be a positive way of donating time and money.

NGO's like RIDE in Tamil Nadu, India are on the forefront of community organization. You can visit these organizations and even volunteer with them to get first hand experience with underprivileged or underperforming communities. We found microlending programs to be the most positive for both communities and families so learning more about organizations that support and train women in microlending can be a positive way of donating time and money.