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Areet Roy Chowdhury Cogently Portrays Gender Discrimination Through His Camera Lens

Tehnaz Dastoor

At 17 years of age, when most boys are chasing after girls, Areet founded Project Unsafe and is busy capturing gender discrimination in its myriad forms – whether it’s an uncomfortable ‘male gaze,’ or women’s safety issues in the private and public domain, his camera is the voice for millions of girls and women who face unsafe situations on a daily basis. Areet’s aim is to focus on the need to change attitudes towards women, by which they feel safer and unexploited everywhere.

A few months earlier, Areet exhibited his poignant photographs at a very well-attended and high- profile exhibition at the ICCR. His black and white pictures tell a tale of how some within the male gender view women in Indian society – through their ogling stares when young girls are walking on the streets, sitting in tram cars or just enjoying themselves at a party. Scenes of domestic violence have been aptly captured on his Nikon D5500. Areet researched his subject matter well by visiting Apne Aap (an anti-sex trafficking organization) as well as Future Hope’s (an NGO providing shelter and food for the most vulnerable street children in Kolkata) kids.

Areet also helps children from Future Hope learn photography on weekends and is also a part of Dolly Basu’s theatre group, Chupkatha, which does not merely produce plays but also includes ‘play-therapy’ for treating children, most of whom suffer from psychological or traumatic problems.

Through his works, Areet has had the opportunity to present India’s perspective on the issue of human trafficking in Washington DC this summer.  He considers this trip “as the best experience” of his life and though he had previously been considering a degree in either English or Sociology, the trip to D.C. has altered his perspective and now he will pursue his higher education in human trafficking.

Window on Travel wishes Areet continued success in all his future endeavors.