Mahmudul Hoque Moni, a Dhaka-based photographic artist, runs a unique project '1000 Portraits 1000 Stories' to contribute to the lives of underprivileged children in Bangladesh. The project continues to engage people from Bangladesh and abroad to raise funds.
Internationally acclaimed portrait photographer Moni started his photographic journey in 2008. Since then, he has been photographing people around him, especially his friends. In 2016, while doing a Master at the University of Sussex in the UK, Moni did his solo photographic exhibition '150 Shades of Perspectives' to raise funds for two Brighton-based charity organizations. That event was a turning point of his photographic life, Moni shared.
Last year, Moni planned to use his photographic skills to create a more significant impact on the lives of underprivileged children in Bangladesh. He launched his long-cherished project '1000 Portraits 1000 Stories' in September. The website of the project is www.1000portraits.org. The idea of this campaign is to raise funds by shooting portraits of people interested in contributing to children's welfare. Anyone who wants their images to be taken by Moni can register their interest through the website. Moni contacts the person and creates portraitures of those interested persons completely free of costs. After the photoshoot, the interested persons can send their donations to a non-profit non-government organization named 'EKMATTRA Society' (www.ekmattra.org), which works for the underprivileged children in Bangladesh. The responses have been extraordinary. Moni has taken nearly a hundred portraits so far, and people continue to register.
Sahara Basnet, a Nepali student after doing a photoshoot with Moni noted, 'Photography has always been a great outlet to express stories of people around the world. I feel grateful to be a part of such an amazing cause. Shooting with photographer as creative as Mahmudul Hoque Moni was truly a wonderful experience'.
Moni's project '1000 Portraits 1000 Stories' and EKMATTRA Society jointly launched a merit-based scholarship program 'Inclusive Future' for underprivileged children in Haluaghat, Mymensingh. This year, fifteen meritorious children from three secondary schools will receive 500 Taka monthly stipends and a one-time 2000 Taka for covering other costs under this scholarship program this year. The program selected these kids from Biroidakuni High School, Majrakura High School and Saint Andrew's High School. The aim is to support these children to chase and fulfill their dreams.
Moni aims to shoot portraitures of 1000 people and hold an event to showcase these 1000 portraits and their stories in 2023. He wants to raise more funds and expand his support to organizations like EKMATTRA Society, and to contribute to the lives of underprivileged children in Bangladesh.
Anyone interested in participating in this project can register through the website or join the social media campaigns. Moni is a member of Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) cadre and currently doing his PhD at the University of Sussex with the Prime Minister's Fellowship. His website is www.mhmoni.com.