Sunday, September 8, 2013

Parao Leprosy hospital - further thoughts

While researching the Aghori way of life in the city of Varanasi I was taken to Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Sewa Ashram, which is located on the other bank of the Holy Ganges.

There it was explained to me that the temple was founded in 1961 and while its roots where in Aghori they had moved on as they said ‘into the modern world’. Part of their development was moving from practices that were seen as abhorrent to working with the lowest of society, the lepers. With this view, Parampujya Aghoreshwar started a service centre at Parao, Varanasi for the lepers in January 1962.


Parao Leprosy hospital - Images by Darragh Mason Field


This centre adopts the Ayurvedic and Fakiri system of treatment and prepares most of the medicines and received acknowledgement from the Guinness book of records for treating more leprosy patients in the world with 99,045 patients registered with ‘full’ leprosy and 147,503 with ‘partial’ leprosy all of which have been cured. The patients are treated for free and on recovery they are expected to serve in the kitchens to treat the current patients for a period of time in return. No debt, no medical insurance.

When one looks at the prohibitive cost of medical treatment in the west, particularly the United States, one can only look at the Avadhoot Bhagwan ashram and its inclusive way it accepts patients and the incredible success rate as simply extraordinary.

The Ashram not only provides free treatment but also clothing, food and accommodation to the Leper patients. The treatment program is not only designed to heal the physical aliment but also to treat the mental and emotional damage suffered through Leprosy. In that the patient is shown to be an important member of the community at the Ashram, valued by their peers and Ashram members and contributing to the wellbeing of all.

 Not only has the Ashram the greatest level of success in treating this devastating disease worldwide it also has great success with cured patients returning to mainstream society leading full lives with families and friends.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tear sheet - St Pauls Carnival 2013 - Lucknow Tribune

Photos by me with words by Michaela Wilson.

Monday, May 6, 2013

END:CIV - Resist or Die

What does the true weight of our responsibility to the environment our children will grow up in mean? What will they think of our inaction in 50 years?


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

City of Widows shot


A widow climbs the steps to the one of the dilapidated buildings of the Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram as the evening session of chanting ends in Vrindavan, the 'City of Widows'.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Latest Lucknow Tribune Tearsheet


Photography in Lucknow Tribune article on Raja Ram Mohan Roy, written by Michaela Wilson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family on a bike

Just a simple shot practicing my tracking technique

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bundi dog

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blind boy

This shot is part of a series I did on the Netraheen Vikas Sansthan School for Blind and deaf Children in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It's a remarkable place with incredible staff and inspiring students. The full essay is here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Disused carwash

Monday, April 8, 2013

Parao Leprosy hospital



Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Sewa Ashram is located on the other bank of the Ganges. There it was explained to me that the temple was founded in 1961 and while its roots where in Aghori they had moved on as they said ‘into the modern world’.
Part of their development was moving from practices that were seen as abhorrent to working with the lowest of society, the lepers. With this view, Parampujya Aghoreshwar started a service centre at Parao, Varanasi for the lepers in January 1962. This centre adopts the Ayurvedic and Fakiri system of treatment and prepares most of the medicines and received acknowledgement from the Guinness book of records for treating more leprosy patients in the world with 99,045 patients registered with ‘full’ leprosy and 147,503 with ‘partial’ leprosy all of which have been cured.
The patients are treated for free and on recovery they are expected to serve in the kitchens to treat the current patients for a period of time in return. No debt, no medical insurance.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blind albino boy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Reek


This is the top Croagh Patrick (The Reek) under cloud. It is from the top of this mountain that St Patrick is reported to have slept for 40 days and 40 nights and from here he drove the serpents from Ireland into Clew bay below. All great pilgrim paths in Ireland lead to this mountain. The famous Tochar Phádraig passes through Ballintubber Abbey to the base of the Reek. The path along this pilgrimage is dotted with megalithic sites of worship with cup and spirals incised into rock faces. St Patrick's Chair, or the Boheh Stone which is located on the pilgrimage trail south east of Croagh Patrick reveals the original meaning to the mountains worship as twice a year, from this stone, the sun appears to 'roll' down the side of the mountain into the Atlantic.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lucknow Tribune


My article and photos on the Aghori Sadu sect as published by the Lucknow Tribune in February of this year.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dancing at the Durga festival in Bundi


Glorious Durga dancers in the town of Bundi in Rajasthan.  This was the first festival I stumbled upon on my last Indian trip.  Festivals are part and parcel of life in India and one of the most exciting things about the subcontinent for a Photographer.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ayurvedic chemist

This ayurvedic practitioner worked at the oldest hospital in Lucknow, a hospital which worked on donations and never charged a single person for treatment.  I saw this quite a lot in India, particularly with Ayurvedic medicine not western...


While in Bikaner I was welcomed with a cup of chai and some street food by an other ayurvedic practitioner who was sat cross legged folder instruction pamphlets for his ointment. The clinic was a tiny open faced room in one of the many bazaars if Bikaner. The walls where covered with before and after pictures and letters of thanks from the many burn victims he had treated, for free. He explained to me why he believed medicine and medical treatment should never be charged for and it was a compelling argument, but a very simple one, he based what he did on compassion and service to others. It was unconditional yet it was practical as if to prove this point a patient turned up to have his dressing changed. As a westerner and essentially a germaphobe, it was compelling yet unnerving to watch a dirty bandage come off and see the wound beneath and watch it get dressed. The man being treated was clearly in pain but was still scolded for not keeping the previous dressing clean.
But it was free, and it worked. There was no monetary value assigned to someones well-being. This shot is featured in my book Mazdoor which can be purchased here

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Varanasi Baja Band


The band from my friend Vishnu's wedding. These bands are everywhere in north India and during the wedding season you will hear them before you see them, they are noisy and stand out like sore thumbs which is probably the point.  Its the type of chaotic spectacle that makes India a total joy to photograph. This shot is featured in my book Mazdoor which can be purchased here

Monday, March 18, 2013

Delhi drain cleaner



Saw this man cleaning out the street drains that lay beneath the cluttered roads of Paharganj in New Delhi.  Anyone who has traveled in India longer than a month will know Paharganj as the main traveller hub just by the New Delhi Train station.  This photo is featured as a dps my soon to be released photo book 'Mazdoor - the workers of India'.  The stench was pretty hardcore, this is hard job which of course if done by the Dalits castes (untouchables). UPDATE - My book Mazdoor which can be purchased here

Friday, March 15, 2013

Varanasi silk weaver



Part of my "workers" series from India.  I'm editing a set down to thirty photos for my first photo book Mazdoor which can be purchased here

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sikh Pilgrim 1


Amritsar was probably one of my favourite places in India.  The Sikh's are incredible people and the Golden Temple is one of the most peaceful and sacred places I've every had the good fortune to visit.  I was really struck by the Kindness of the people and how they truly reflected
the tenants of their faith.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Master Goldsmith Michael Field

Master Goldsmith Michael Field engraves a silver celtic cross. from Darragh Mason Field on Vimeo.

I shot this short film of my Dad working in Jan just after coming home from India. Holding the cross in focus was a right pain as the 1.8 aperture on my 50mm gives such a shallow depth of field, kind of reminds me of some 4AD music videos, all it would need is some heavy texturing and a lower dynamic range.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Evening light at Kathmandu market


Evening light breaking down the streets at the small market in Kathmandu by famous Buddhist shrine whose name escapes me now.

Night Market


A night market in Kathmandu. The light is run by battery as the city's power is only on for 6 hours a day.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Batik bath


Bath for soaking batik fabric in a small factory in Bikaner north Rajasthan.

Jaipur night flower stall

Jaipur girls

Jaipur street eatery at night

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dishes flying at the Golden temple Amritsar

Golden temple dish collection from Darragh Mason Field on Vimeo.

Rapid fire dish collection at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jaipur

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gatka Sikh boy



Gatka Sikh boy does a routine with two swords (Kirpan).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mathura man

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bundi Durga dancers

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bikaner Chai house

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bikaner market girl

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I love this shot, I love how the girl is framed and frozen by the shot, she's slightly out of focus and its strangely works.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013