A shot in the dark

New Delhi street kid turned acclaimed photographer returns to give other kids similar chance.
A shot in the dark

Running away to New Delhi as an 11-year-old, with no one in the city he could call on, Vicky Roy had a life of street gangs, picking garbage and sleeping on train platforms to look forward to.

Yet today, at 25, he is an accomplished photographer. Hard work, tenacity and a little bit of luck mark his unlikely journey.

Vicky did live on the streets, for two years, until he encountered the Salaam Baalak Trust, which provided shelter, food and education.

In 2004, Salaam Baalak had a visit from British photographer Dixie Benjamin. A bold 17-year-old Vicky asked to have a go on Dixie’s camera, and the results won him his first mentor.

Vicky’s first exhibition, Street Dreams, toured India and travelled to London in 2007. Two years later, he was one of four photographers selected for a New York-based mentorship programme that involved photographing the World Trade Center’s reconstruction.

Vicky is also part of Rang, a collective aimed at grooming a new generation of photographers in India.

“Someone helped me,” he recalls. “That’s why I’m here. So it is my responsibility to do something like that. After my help, perhaps we will see the next Vicky Roy.”

In Street Dreams, Vicky revisits familiar scenes of his childhood to capture the lives of New Delhi’s street children.




Pearl Forss


Vicky Roy