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Checking through the archives again, I rediscovered some shots from the Tikau Share village in Odisha, India. Tikau Share is a Finnish NGO and I’m on its board, which sounds very grand, but it just means I try to help whenever I can. The NGO concentrates mainly on development in one very poor Dalit (aka “Untouchable”, aka “Scheduled Caste”) village in Odisha. Understandably all the attention is on the Philippines right now, but in October this part of India was hit by Cyclone Phailin, with flooding along the low-lying coastal area, including our village. The villagers, who received no help in the immediate aftermath of the storm, have to repair their damaged mud houses before they can start work again on the bamboo lamps which are sold in the Tikau shop in Helsinki. If anyone would like to contribute to our projects, we – and the villagers – would be truly grateful. Visit www.tikaushare.fi if you’d like to help.

The pictures are from my own last visit in February 2013. Since one of our group contracted typhoid when we were there, I got distracted from looking at the pictures properly and I’m pleasantly surprised at what I’ve now found. From a selfish photography point of view, this village is a goldmine of material and I’m looking forward to my next planned visit in February 2014 to meet its residents again. It’s always a humbling but rewarding experience.

Some pictures, then, and I think there will be more to follow when I’ve finished looking – copyright is mine, all mine, and you need to ask permission if you’d like to use, publish or duplicate:Image

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All shots taken with a Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon 18-55mm zoom. I just read an article where some big shot New York photographer was singing the praises of this “compact system” camera, which is so much easier to carry and less intimidating for subjects, while insisting that you still need the much bigger DSLRs. I would argue that, in most cases, no, you don’t, not any more. I offer these shots as evidence.

Visit my website for more galleries: www.timbirdphotography.com