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Rewarding vision

Chinky Shukla

Excel-lens at work
Delhi-based freelance photojournalist Chinky Shukla (27) was adjudged the winner of the ‘Picture of the Year’ award for her photograph the burial of two-year-old tribal child near Jadugoda in Jharkhand.


Picture of the Year: Chinky Shukla/ Freelance 
Two-year-old Babua of the Ho tribe, who died a sudden death, is buried in the backyard of his house with his hands in a pot of brass and a glass, in accordance with tribal customs, in Jadugoda, Jharkhand. Sudden deaths of newborns, congenital deformities, cancer, and lung diseases have been reported in villages around the uranium mines in this mineral-rich region of Jharkhand. Environmental groups attribute the occurrences to the nuclear waste from the mines released into the groundwater in Jadugoda.

The picture is part of her photo-essay ‘Jadugoda: The Nuclear Graveyard’ which provides a glimpse into the environmental impact on Jadugoda villagers blamed on uranium mining in this mineral-rich region. The picture was unanimously chosen by a jury composed of award-winning photojournalists Pablo Bartholomew, Saurabh Das and Rafeeq Ellias.


Spot News
First Prize: Money Sharma/ European Pressphoto Agency

Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi, 27, runs as he is engulfed in flames after he self-immolated during a protest in New Delhi against the visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao.

The contest received over 8,000 picture submissions, sent in by more than 340 photographers for the six categories under contention. Chinky Shukla will be awarded the grand prize of Rs 75,000 at an awards ceremony scheduled later this year. Additionally, three cash prizes worth R 50,000, R 30,000 and R 20,000 will be awarded to category winners in each of the six categories.


Art and Culture First Prize: Shadab Khan/MiD DAY
Indian artist prepares for a show backstage at the Shri Adarsh Ramleela Samiti being staged at Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai.

“I am totally thrilled. I never thought I would be winning such a prize. It is good for the cause. More people will get to know about Jadugoda and nuclear radiation. For me personally, that’s more important than the prize,” said Shukla in her reaction.


General News First Prize: Biju Boro/Asomiya Pratidin
Villagers gather to look at a wounded Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros that was shot and dehorned by poachers in a jungle in Parku hills near Kaziranga National Park about 250 kilometres east of Guwahati. The rhino died three days later. According to modest government estimates, the poachers have killed a total of 126 rhinos in Assam during the last 10 years.

“It was a very difficult story to shoot. I had to first explain to the tribals why I was there before I began shooting pictures. During my three-week stay there, I heard about Babua’s sudden death and shot this picture,” said Shukla, who has explored visual narratives on diverse subjects including environmental subjects.


Daily Life First Prize: Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press
Two swimmers dive into a swimming pool in Mumbai.

The Media Foundation of India (MFI) is a not-for-profit independent platform started by four Mumbai-based media professionals. The MFI National Press Photo Contest is India’s only national-level contest for professional press photographers and is in its third year.


Best Photo Story First Prize: Amirtharaj Stephen/Freelance
Xavieramma, a resident of Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu, cries out for help after being chased into the sea. She was later helped out and arrested by the security forces. She has been charged with 16 cases including serious charges like sedition and waging war against the nation.


Sports First Prize: Sibu Bhuvanendran/Malayala Manorama
A participant in the cattle race, a risky, but popular sport played during Onam festival in Kerala. The race involves steering the cattle through muddy and often slippery paddy fields.

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