The images that Tarini* and Tarika* captured contrast physical darkness and light. But they also allude to fear of the dark, as well as the hope light brings.
Tarini and Tarika both shifted from Nepal to Delhi after family members had passed away. Tarini came to Delhi to work after family had died in the 2015 Nepal earthquake. She was sexually abused by a neighbor. Tarika came to Delhi after her mother passed away to live with her mother’s friends. She was sexually abused by the husband in a family where she lived.
“I am scared of the dark and the unknown,” says Tarini, who shares a dark photo of a figure sitting on the floor. “I have fear of being attacked from behind.”
“I see rays of hope, when I look outside the window,” says Tarika, who's image shows curtains being opened and light breaking in. “As at times [it is] very dark inside and we cannot go outside."
In the middle of dark circumstances, light breaks through for Tarini and Tarika in the form of the protective shelter staff who stand with them during difficult times.
Mother Teresa says, “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
As we approach the new year, remember that each of us, within the context of our own circumstances, can be the healing light that breaks into the darkness where there is suffering. Let’s be ready for these opportunities, and act upon them when they are revealed.
* Name changed to protect identity
CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home. While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.