In Conversation with Tasveer

Tasveer; the name entails so much more than its Facebook page. An initiative started by two 17 year olds- Riya Behl and Aaryaman Sen- who wanted to make a difference, and not in a humdrum manner. It is a completely student run endeavour aimed at capturing the powerful work done by NGOs and non profits - completely free of cost. More than 40 dedicated students, involved in photography and videography, are active members of the Tasveer team in Bangalore and Delhi as well, only 6 months after Tasveer's inception in Mumbai. We interviewed the founders of Tasveer- Aaryaman Sen and Riya Behl, and came across some brilliant answers.

So first and foremost, the generic question, how did the urge to start Tasveer surface?
Aaryaman: Six months ago, my school newspaper asked me to capture a social program where grade 11 students taught the support staff rudimentary English and Computer Applications in an attempt to improve their ability to understand what they do. I went in extremely nervous. What if they didn’t want photographs taken of them? What if they were offended by my presence there? But contrary to my expectations, the employees were thrilled to be in front of a camera. For ninety minutes, they were stars of a show, grasping concept after concept with astounding ease and sneaking poses in in between. It was an awe-inspiring display of optimism and adaptability in the face of harsh conditions and I was hooked onto the concept of photographing projects like this. So, that night, I called Riya and we decided to start Tasveer.

Pro- bono photography for social events is a pretty brilliant idea and not many think of it as charity work per se. What do you think about this?
Riya: Photography has the power to move us. History has proven that time and again, with photographs like The Napalm Girl and Kevin Carter’s 1993 photograph of a starving child and vulture in South Sudan. Especially now, more so than ever, photographs are a critical, readily available, and increasingly important tool of communication, for we live in a world powered by social media. So pro bono photography for NGO events and activities not only helps them cut their costs but also publicise more efficiently to potential donors. Our team doesn’t see it as charity work but just helping charities continue their wonderful work. A ripple effect, you could say.

What is the key to maintaining an ever-growing audience considering that you are confined to a social networking website?
Riya: Very recently, after a World For All - Animal Adopt-a-thon, Jaccky Bhagnani shared one of our photos of him at the event! We saw our page views go up to 6 digits! I’m not saying the key to maintaining an ever growing audience on Facebook is have a celebrity share your page - though it certainly helps; but generally, just keep sharing. Almost all our photographers talk about Tasveer and what it’s about when their out on a project so apart from the NGO sharing our work, we also have interested people who were at the event coming to take a look at what these teenagers are upto on Facebook, yet again.

Most student run organizations try to keep the momentum going but sadly die out, what is the next step Tasveer wishes to take?
All Tasveer requires is an NGO requirement, a willing student photographer, WiFi, and Whatsapp. We have logistics' teams in all three cities that connect the two, and 21st century technology that helps make all this happen. As for the next step, we’ll just keep rocking the pendulum.

comments powered by Disqus

From The Blog

Raise For Rise

— For the most part, boiling everything down to metaphors and shiny words fails the actual intention. Nonetheless, if Ms. Seema Chawla, from Lucknow, is a master ceramist, then her class of eighty slum kids is clay. And if her class is a garden, then she is the gardener who toils in the heat and provides for water (see: uniforms, bags,... Read More

Upcoming Poetry Meets

— Come, let us talk. Let us talk about how that warm cup of coffee last night left you feeling so cold, or how you wish pixels could move and people could stay. Let us dissect why you’ve stopped asking questions, why you dreamt your ex was a bearded lady at the Piccadilly Circus, and why you have a John Green-esque... Read More

8 Links You Need To Revisit To Gain Perspective on Terrorism

— 2015 has been a dreadful year, at least if you look at it from the terrorism angle. There have been over a hundred terror attacks in the past eleven months alone, if you are to believe websites such as Wikipedia or The Religion of Peace. To shed some much needed perspective, we’ve combined a list of eight websites... Read More

5 Things India Must Celebrate This November

— It’s that time of the year again- the streets are lit up with little lamps and the chaos of crackers seems to take over the atmosphere. As India gears up for the Diwali season and the celebrations begin in full swing, we think that India could definitely add a few more occasions to the list to keep the spirit of... Read More

Conversations of Verse, 21.08.15

— Barrels, Vasant Vihar, was where the next convention of us jittery poets took place. It was nice to see the crowd gradually enlarging, which also greatly contributed to the cozy atmosphere created by dim lighting and agreeable music in just the right decibel. The whole place was teeming with people hardly able to contain their words because of the weight... Read More

Conversations of Verse

— Of poetry, magic, and more. Situated innocuously at the interior of a beautifully flowery lawn, one amongst many in Delhi, was The Potbelly Rooftop Café: a nice, upbeat, fairly regular place where one could hang out and have a couple of coffees with friends or familiars. However, today was unlike any other day, and the stage was set for... Read More

Changing Times

— Hello, readers. The ’Zine is back with, well, kind of a bang (excuse the cliché). There are a number of things planned for you all, the first and foremost being that you’ll get to see a different face of The ’Zine with the same body but different body parts (decode this metaphor!) We’re renovating and redesigning, and who doesn’t love... Read More