Oh India: Tenderness, Chaos and Supporting West Bengal

Oh India: Tenderness, Chaos and Supporting West Bengal

Oh India is a fundraising travel photography project which developed through my desire to give back to the country that gave so much to me: India.

spent six months travelling in the far reaches of North India,
from the rainforests and tea stops of Singalila National Park in
West Bengal to the mountains and monasteries of the Nubra Valley in
Ladakh. Inspired by my dad’s photography from the 80s – which
brought extraordinary lands and people into the living room of my
childhood home – my work explores the relationships between people
and their environments along with the ever-pressing influence of
globalisation and climate change.

The images transpired out of adoration and intrigue for what I
witnessed. Combining the country’s tenderness and tranquillity with
its unrelenting vibrancy and chaos, they offer an honest insight
into India’s individuality, and I hope they encourage an
appreciation and understanding of lives so very different from our

Upon my travels, I had the fortune to visit Kaikala Chetana, a
community-run, volunteer-based education program in the rural
Hooghly district of West Bengal, 50km from Kolkata. Founded in 1996
by local man Somnath, who turned his family home into a centre for
learning, the program now offers free education to more than 800
children across 24 locations.

Inspired by Somnath’s inclusive vision and having witnessed
first-hand the communal value of his work, the Oh India project was
created to raise money through my photography and ensure the
continuation of Kaikala Chetana. The project was first launched at
a fundraiser exhibition in Sydney and has now been developed into a
photobook following cyclone Amphan, which hit West Bengal during
the peak of the COVID pandemic, destroying multiple homes as well
as crops and agricultural equipment upon which the Kaikala village

@thomasjamesparrish | thomasjamesparrish.com

The Lowdown

Pre-order Oh India here. Proceeds from this PhotoBook will be
donated to Kaikala Chetana, a community-run, volunteer-based
education program for India’s rural poor in West Bengal

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