Beauty Behind the Scars
Niraj Gera is a multi-faceted personality who is not only a renowned photographer but an entrepreneur, blogger, traveler, spiritual seeker, and an Art of Living teacher as well.
He recently held a photo exhibition titled “Sacred Transformations” in Delhi, a series of photographs depicting the journey and the transformation of acid attack survivors. An undeniably gifted photographer, Niraj Gera, through this series has unveiled the beautiful spirit behind the victimized faces of acid attack survivors and has sensitively captured their transformation from agony and desolation to confidence and self-actualization.
He first met the survivors of acid attacks in March 2014 at Jantar Mantar in Delhi where they were holding a protest march demanding basic rights such as job opportunities and ban on the sale of acid. He was so moved by their plight that he took up their cause not just as a photographer but also as an activist. He wanted to unveil the inner beauty that was hidden behind the disfigured faces and sensitize people to their behaviour towards them.
His biggest battle was to convince the survivors themselves of how beautiful they were. Many of them suffered from acute depression and had suicidal tendencies. Realizing their deep need for inner strength, he conducted a week long Happiness Program for them and a “Sacred Transformation” took place. Through meditative techniques, motivational sessions, and “Sudarshan Kriya” impressions of their trauma began to fade and they became emotionally and mentally stronger.
Niraj is a simple hearted person and his inclination towards spirituality has helped him to maintain the balance between all the various activities that he has successfully undertaken. “Sacred Transformations” has been honoured and awarded in some of the prestigious international photography competitions including The International Photographer of the Year 2016.( has he been awarded this?)
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has bestowed his love and appreciation upon Niraj's endeavor and has, as always, welcomed the survivors to the Ashram. Niraj hopes to continue taking up such seva projects and we hope to see much more of his inspiring and moving work very soon.