Whenever I think of poverty, there is one image that invariably pops-up. Yes! That photograph is the one you see below.


The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can survive. This picture shocked the whole world. No one knows what happened to the child.

This photo was the “Pulitzer Prize” winner taken in 1994 during the Sudan Famine by Kevin Carter. The picture depicts malnourished child crawling towards a United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away.

Carter

I had seen this stomach wrenching image before. But what startled me was when my dad gave me a paper clip on the story behind this photograph. This is what it said, “In March 1993 Carter made a trip to southern Sudan. The sound of soft, high-pitched whimpering near the village of Ayod attracted Carter to a young emaciated Sudanese toddler. The girl had stopped to rest while struggling to a feeding center, wherein a vulture had landed nearby. He said that he waited about 20 minutes, hoping that the vulture would spread its wings. It didn’t. Carter snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away.”

The photograph was sold to The New York Times where it appeared for the first time on March 26, 1993. On April 2, 1994 Nancy Buirski, a foreign New York Times picture editor, phoned Carter to inform him that he had won the most coveted prize for photography. Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography on May 23, 1994 at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.

Carter came under heavy criticism for just photographing — and not helping — the little girl.

On 27 July 1994 Carter drove to the Braamfonteinspruit river and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 33. Portions of Carter’s suicide note read:

“I am depressed … without phone … money for rent … money for child support … money for debts … money!!! … I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners…I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky.”

Dan Krauss shot a documentary titled “The Life of Kevin Carter” which released in 2004.

I feel that people are ignorant of the fact that some of their fellow humans don’t even get a mouthful in many days. And when they see the truth in front of their eyes They are LOST. Lost for words. Lost for actions.

By
Guruvardhan

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