Sunday, December 6, 2015

Kiran Kreer

Kiran Kreer  is very inspiring. He has dedicated his life to make others happy.. My interview with him was published in the theSun on Friday. Here is the full story. 

Headline: Lighting Up Lives  
By Bissme S 

Malaysian activist and documentary photographer Kiran Kreer seems to be on a mission to end darkness in the world. In late 2012, he started a humanitarian project called Give Them Light (, where solar lights are given free to people in places without electricity.
The idea was ­conceived after a trip to the ­Philippines – which had just been struck by a typhoon – to take ­photos of the disaster. He hoped his images would convince people in different parts of the world to send aid to the Philippines.
“During my shoot, I came across many homes where people were unable to cook, read or sew, just because they had no electricity,” he says.
“We often forget that what millions take for granted is [a luxury] in some people’s lives. Slowly, it occurred to me that I could do more than just take pictures.”
He collaborated with some friends in the United States, and is now the ­unofficial Lights ­Ambassador for ­Denver-based solar light bulb ­manufacturer Nokero Inc. Besides taking pictures of places of natural ­disasters and mishaps, he also ­distributes solar lights to needy communities in ­Malaysia, Nepal, Vietnam and the Philippines.
When asked to relate some of his memorable experiences, he says: “An old woman from the Jakun tribe in Malaysia had seen her surroundings change ­drastically over the last few years. The deforestation in her area made life difficult for the villagers. Many had moved away.
“She was so touched that a total stranger would want to listen to her story, and was interested in her as a fellow human. When she realised that we had brought solar lights for her, her big, pure, honest and unforgettable smile seemed to fill the room.”
He also described the time a young boy in Nepal had smiled and insisted that he and his siblings needed a light to read at night.
“These people feel happy knowing that there are people out there who care for them and that they have not been forgotten,” he says.
One wonders how Kiran remains positive when he keeps visiting places with overwhelming poverty and disaster.
“Sometimes what I see takes a toll on me,” he confesses.
“I keep on doing what I do because I believe that it can make a difference. When one of my photos ends up creating enough awareness, and aid gets there, I feel my job is rewarded and that keeps me going.”
During his shoots, Kiran gets to meet many NGOs, ­volunteers, and other ­concerned ­people, who ­become a source of ­inspiration and ­motivation.
“In many of my ­pictures, you can see ­smiling faces, even when the ­reality these people endure can be very cruel,” he says.
When asked what his hopes are for the project in the long run, he says: “I would love to help each and every person in need that I meet, but I’m unable to do that.
“So my goal in the long run would be to inspire others, mainly the youths, to join me in my efforts. Go out there and see the world, and try to change it with small acts of ­kindness.”
Recently, Kiran faced some problems with the customs department in Nepal when bringing in his solar lights. He ended up having to find creative ways of getting his lights into the ­country, even ­using ­backdoor agents.
Despite these challenges, Kiran still wants to continue. He says: “Bringing them solar lights not only makes their nights brighter, but it also reminds them that there are people out there who care for them. This is who I am. This is my purpose in life.”

PS: In my blog, I am also posting some of pictures that Kiran  Kreer has taken in his mission to help others around the world. To see more of his wonderful pictures Please visit his website :  

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