66 images Created 15 Sep 2014

UNSUNG is a tribute to ordinary Indian citizens who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of people around them. Their inner resources – vision, will, commitment, energy – compensate for their lack of financial resources. They operate in the shadows, away from the glare of and glitz of fame and fortune. Their stories are inspirational. They teach us how can we beat all odds if we harness and channel our inner resources.

UNSUNG was published in 2007 in the form of a book. It tells the stories of seemingly ordinary people who have made extraordinary contributions to society against great personal odds. It was about five years in the making and, like many of the stories it chronicles, it was produced against many odds. The book features evocative black and white images by photographer Mahesh Bhat and text by the well-known journalist Anita Pratap.

A second book in the series 'UNSUNG-Extraordinary Lives' will be published in January 2015. It will feature stories of another nine Unsung Heroes from across India. Some of India’s top photographers, Amit Mehra, Dinesh Khanna, Gauri Gill, Namas Bhojani, Prashant Panjiar and emerging photographer Jyothi Karat have collaborated with with Mahesh Bhat to produce the book. Writers such as Amita Baviskar, Madhu Malhotra (till recently director of programs for Amnesty International), Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director of Tibet House, The Cultural Centre of H.H. Dalai Lama have written essays. The great organic farmer Masanobu Fukuoka's estate has given permission to use a chapter from his book 'One Straw Revolution' in the second volume as well.

UNSUNG has received rave reviews and made a great impact on the lives of the Heroes featured.

1. Till date the book has helped in raising over Rs.65 lakhs (USD 140000.00) to the causes of some of the heroes featured in the book.

2. Chewang Norphel. K M Chinnappa, Rangasamy Elango and Subhashini Mistry have won CNN-IBN real heroes award.

3. Hasnath Mansur, Lakshman Singh, Chewang Norphel and Subhashini Mistry have won Harmony Silver Award from Harmony for Silvers Foundation.

4. Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore has instituted UNSUNG lecture series. Heroes featured in the book are invited to IIM-B to address and interact with a group of students. Four lectures have taken place till now.

Each of the stories, so rare, so powerful and so moving”
India Today

“The book is a celebration of India, people and the land.. It is an inspiring effort and demonstrates what can be achieved by photography.”
The Hindu

“It is a book which desperately needs a sequel…nay many sequels. Just to keep our hope alive, our winters a bit warmer.”

“This book is an act of courage”

“Both Mahesh and Anita deserve praise and admiration for their determination, and for bringing these extraordinary “ordinary” people to our awareness.”
Tewfic el-sawy, photographer - blogger
View: 25 | All