Mother Teresa, who is being canonised at the Vatican in Rome today, is being remembered with as much love as criticism by millions across the world. Leaders from across the political spectrum in India are in Rome to attend the ceremony. Sisters of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata in 1946, have flown in to witness the moment when sainthood is conferred on her.
However, among the many tributes to Mother Teresa's legacy, the one by photographer Kounteya Sinha, called The Sainthood Project, stands out for its novelty.
Last month, Sinha spoke to The Huffington Post about his idea of taking 50 photographic vignettes of the city of Kolkata, where Mother Teresa spent most of her life working for the diseased and the destitute, to Rome. Prints of these images, taken by him, would be hung on a clothesline and held up by a group of volunteers standing on the streets of Rome for several days, leading up to September 4.
Sinha described the people involved in the project as 'Nobodies' — ordinary residents of Kolkata or those with spiritual, emotional or physical connections with the city. From striving artists to struggling students to privileged NRIs, all were welcomed to participate in this effort to make Kolkata, the city Mother Teresa became identified with, visible to the rest of the world.
In Rome now for the past few days, Sinha and his team have been greeted with extraordinary warmth and enthusiasm by the public — residents of the city, NRIs, visitors from various parts of the world and tourists have all pitched in to make The Sainthood Project a success.
In an email, Sinha wrote, "I can't believe how the world came together for my city and my Saint. I hope some of them land up in Kolkata in the near future." The Sainthood Project, he added, was a difficult idea to execute. "Standing in this scorching sun for hours without anyone else to hold the other side of the rope was tough. But someone or the other from some part of the world picked up the rope and stood there glorifying Kolkata."
Here are a few moments from Rome, captured by Sinha.
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