A couple from Australia– Chris and Jess Bray– recently came to India on a mission. These travel photographers were asked to find a girl with the pink bracelet.
But you may wonder why?
Dick Smith, an Australian entrepreneur and aviator, was on a tour in India when he clicked a photo of the girl in
Vadodara, Gujarat. She had nothing but a pink bracelet on her left wrist in Gujarat.
When he went back to Australia, he tasked the couple to find the girl so that he can help her with accommodation, education, etc. He also asked them to open a bank account of her so that he can regularly deposit money into it.
But, it was to be done in three days!
Chris, who documented the journey through a series of photos, shared it on his Facebook page
On Day 1, they landed in Vadodara (Gujarat) and took an auto-rickshaw to take a look at the place.
They brought some gifts for the girl and her family before they find them to make their intentions clear.
On Day 2, they went to the bridge to locate the family, But they couldn’t as they didn’t know the local language.
Then they meet Dr. Chellani through an acquaintance who agreed to help them.
They went to the bridge along with Dr. Chellani and started searching the girl. However, people said that they have never seen any of the people in the photos before.
A man in the red shirt with a plastic leg came and agreed that he was in the photo taken by Smith.
Then a woman recognised the girl and pointed towards another woman who was the girl’s mother. The mother accepted that it was her daughter in the photo.
The girl with the pink bracelet is Divya and she is eight-year-old. Chris wrote that Divya thought she was in trouble and was upset.
Later, Chris and Jess explained Divya and her family about the episode. And, then they met the whole family.
“The parents had been living under the bridge for 12 years, and Divya had been born there just under the bridge without any nurse etc. As the father was away at work (a plasterer, earning $4-6/day, not enough to afford even a slum house while also caring for three kids) we decided it was best to wait until the dad came home from work to discuss with the whole family to see if there was a way we could help.”
After meeting the father and explaining them Smith’s wish, they went to the bank to open an account for Divya.
Talking about Divya’s father, Chris wrote:
“We met the dad for the first time, and mercifully it turned out that he doesn’t drink or smoke. He seems like a genuine, hard working man, loves his family, and just struggling to get ahead. Thankfully it seems they weren’t under the bridge because he has some hardcore addiction or something – they seem like the perfect family not only in need of some assistance, but able and willing to be helped.”
To open a bank account, the family need to have some basic identification proof that they are citizens of India. But, they didn’t have any.
As Divya and her mother are illiterate, they used an ink-pad and fingerprint to sign the documents.
A passport size photo was needed and they headed to a local shop. While the picture was getting printed, Chris took a couple of shots of Divya nd her mother.
The bank managed to open an account with the help from Dr Chellani.
After opening the account, the couple took the family for shopping.
They also brought some tools for Divya’s father so that he can earn a better wage with his plastering work.
On the last day, they visited Divya’s school which she has to attend every day.
And, then taking a rickshaw ride they went to the airport to fly back.
Chris said,”India is such a wonderful country, so busy, so colourful, full of surprises and full of people with big hearts.”