From an early age, Abhi Chandra loved traveling like anything. Abhi was very impatient since his childhood and always wanted to try new things. While in the bus, he used to watch the roadside trees on the mountains, temples in the hills and used to feel amazed with the kind of structure those trees used to have. He felt as if they wanted to say something.
Abhi developed a strong desire towards photography, music and film making when he was in class 8. Whenever he was given an opportunity to sing, he never sang the song which he liked. Unlike, he used to first see the mass and see which kind song can best fit the mass. During the same time, he developed a very good habit when it came to using plastic bags. It’s been almost 18 years that I have not asked the shopkeeper for a plastic bag. Even if he had to ask during an emergency, he ensure to return the plastic bags back to the shopkeeper. If not, reuse the same bag for almost 3-5 times. Abhi started writing stories since class 8 and thought of having them filmed for awareness purpose later in future on various themes.
Things didn’t turn the way he thought to be when it came to taking photography and filmmaking as a professional career. Abhi started his career as a door to door fruit salesperson and got a good experience when it came to study the human behavior through various interactions. In 2014, he purchased a basic DSLR camera and a decent mobile phone.
While on the transition of my career, he happened to get an opportunity to work with an organization committed for providing family planning and sexual reproductive health that gave me a different level of thinking towards the world. He had to travel across many districts in Nepal. Many visits – many bells he came across and a lot of collection he had made. All the pictures, he captured was almost of bells only.
It was during my visit to Chitwan when he took a break in the Narayani River Bank. It was during the rainy season when he saw small kids jumping and swimming like anything on the enormous river. Abhi spoke with one of the kids about his education. The child explained me about how he got expelled from the school for bunking classes for swimming. There were many like Abhi. Abhi captured their small video too. Abhi felt amazed.
Every child is special. With good guidance, they can come out being great river – divers. He felt sad because they were not heard. They had no such opportunity.
During my travel to western Nepal, he saw kids playing football like a professional player. Most of them were expelled because of their interest in something else. They were not heard too. He too came across abandoned old aged people and exploited women and small kids. All of them were not heard.
One day Abhi came across a Facebook page called – Goats of Bangladesh. Pictures of goats and their expressions were shared giving humanity a message.
He started pondering upon the bells and their relationship with humanity. He started connecting bells to those talented kids without having opportunities. He connected bells to those exploited and deprived women. He connected bells with those trees and nature. He connected to all those old aged people.
He also connected bell as a medium to connect humans as most of the bells were mostly the ones gifted by humans for their beloved ones or had some important inscriptions on it. One way or the other all of us were connected.
Bells need to be preserved and they need to be rung. Similarly, it’s we can only understand that voice of the unheard – the women, the talented kids, the nature and the old aged people.
Inspired from the page – Goats of Bangladesh, I created a Facebook page – Bells of Nepal and started posting pictures with various quotes. After some months, people started contributing to the page with bells they came across or those bells which had some history.
In 2017, Abhi registered a non -profit organization called – Bells of Nepal. Whatever, he earned for living from a different source, He is in plans to contribute to Bells of Nepal. His next plan is to form a strong team who wish to ring the bells together and inspire the world.
May be through the medium of music, photography or films, I am in plans to generate more funds to support the Bells of our country. Anyone is free to post and share the picture of a bell when they come across.
The women, the talented but deprived children, the nature and the old aged people need to be heard.