Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
The Rural Institute for Development Education (R.I.D.E.) was founded in 1984. Is a secular, non-government organization dedicated to empowering poor and disadvantaged residents of rural Tamil Nadu, India to improve the quality of their lives.
RIDE works to eliminate child labor, promote economic and social justice for women, provide essential medical and educational services and cultivate economic opportunity throughout the Kanchipuram region. Their motto 'educate to empower' embodies the central approach and goal of their activities.
For over three decades, RIDE has been synonymous with community action, especially in the areas of child labor eradication. "Bridge Schools" are central to the goal by providing a place for children making a transition from child labor to school.
All the children in these portraits will anticipate mornings spent chipping rocks at the rock quarry near town. The school allows them to receive an education after their morning of wage earning. While difficult to wholly eliminate child labor in poor, rural communities, the generation of empowered children will have new potential to earn higher wages in adulthood which may help end the cycle of poverty.