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The Blind Photographer | 101 Heartland

Pranav Lal didn't let the fact that he's blind stop him from becoming a photographer.

Pranav Lal has been blind since birth, but that's never stopped him from trying his hand at anything he set his mind to. As he says, he actively looked for something totally visual to do, and that's how he came up with the idea to take up photography.

A technology called 'vOICe' works as an artificial eye, and with a pair of bone conducting headphones, converts the sights around Pranav to sound. The image gets broken down to three attributes. The panning or time, represents objects in the horizontal plane. The higher the pitch of the sound, the higher is the object. And finally, the volume of the sound represents the amount of brightness. Using a combination of these variations in sound, Pranav clicks his photo using a second camera. 

Pranav's parents have been constant pillars of support, encouraging him right from birth, and never treating him like there was anything wrong with him. This attitude instilled in Pranav a sense of independence, and the belief that he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Outside the metros and beyond the urban jungle live the sons and daughters of India’s heartland. This series tells their stories. 101 Heartland celebrates both unique communities and individual tales of hope, struggle, and reform. From the village of Bouncers just outside Delhi to the fascinating story of Ram Kumar Tyagi, once a wanted man but now a coach for aspiring female wrestlers, 101 Heartland tells stories for the heart, from the heartland.