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Apratim Pal Wins UN’s Photography4Humanity Prize

A UN-supported initiative, the photography contest calls on photographers to bring to life the power of human rights through their images

In West Bengal, on bone-dry land, severely affected by drought, two women search for their daily water supply. Photo credit: Apratim Pal

Indian photographer Apratim Pal has won this year’s Photography4Humanity prize for his picture, A Thirsty Earth, which captures the environmental and human costs of the escalating climate crisis in West Bengal, India.

Photography4Humanity, an UN-supported initiative, calls on amateur and professional photographers from around the world to bring to life the power of human rights through their images, and inspire people to get involved and take a stand. Highlighting the most compelling human rights imagery – illustrating courage, despair, hope, injustice, compassion in ways small and large, the images serve to inspire people to personally get involved and take a stand for human rights.

Another noteworthy photograph and one of the finalists was Yauhen Yerchak’s photo, Protest Has a Woman’s Face. Taken during a protest rally in Belarus, it captures the fragility and power of a group of Belarusian women gathered in support of opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova.

The photographs of Apratim Pal and Yauhen Yerchak and the other nine finalists were exhibited and discussed at a special event held at New York’s Fotografiska gallery on UN Human Rights Day.

Other entries from India that made it to the final were a photograph by Somenath Mukhopadhyay on two transgender youths holding each other in a bond of love and friendship, Mohit Khetrapal’s photograph of a family member at Harishchandra Crematorium, Varanasi after losing a loved one to Covid-19.

Rajesh Dhar‘s image of a family outing in Kolkata after the lockdown of Covid-19 was lifted and Sourav Karmakar’s photo of married women dressed traditionally with face shields, blowing conch shells to perform last puja before immersion of the goddess Durga.

The writer is a media professional based in Delhi. She has been writing on diverse subjects, including sustainable businesses, environment and climate change, health and education and others.

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