Photographer Sam Edmonds was visiting Dhaka, Bangladesh a few years ago when he met a group of orphaned and impoverished children who have formed special friendships with the street dogs of the city.
The homeless children and dogs lived in Robindra Shorbod, a small park in one of the poorest areas of the city. Despite having few material possessions and having to collect plastic containers that they sell for money, the children made sure their dogs get food and in return the dogs offer them, companionship, warmth and protection.
Edmonds ended up spending a week in the park, taking these striking portraits of the boys with their adopted companions. He was deeply affected by the strength, resilience and the sense of family the children and their adopted dogs had established with each other.
Edmonds learned more about the lives of stray dogs from the humane organization Obhoyaronna, a non-profit group aids street dogs in the city through a trap neuter return program.
Sadly, the fear of stray dogs and rabies means that many dogs are feared, maltreated, shunned and abused. But the Robindra children who Edmonds met showed incredible compassion towards the animals.
It might seem the least likely place to shine a light on animal rights, but Edmonds says, “these kids show that the expanding circle of empathy is universal across economic and sociopolitical divides.”
For his portraits, Edmonds asked the boys not to pose for the photo. Instead each of the boys entered the frame with their favorite dogs and he took a picture. Before he left, he gave each boy a print of their photo.
Recently, Edmonds contacted a friend in Dhaka to find out about the children and dogs in Robindra Shorbod. He learned that most of the children have grown up and are no longer living in the park.
What may have happened to their dogs remains unclear, but their story and photos live on, revealing that even in the most desperate of circumstances, the bond between dogs and children can be life-changing and an example for us all about treating one another with kindness.
Photos published on Reshareworthy.com with permission from Sam Edmonds.
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