“BETI  BACHAO – BETI PADAO” : A PHOTO EXHIBITION

Navjot Singh Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu

By Meera Ahuja

“A photograph is worth a thousand words” –this has been proved once again by the 40 odd photojournalists from Chandigarh region, Amritsar and Ludhiana in a three- day long exhibition focused on the Girl Child organised here by the Photojournalists Welfare Association (PJWA).

A girl child if nurtured, given love, respect and opportunity can achieve so much as seen in a photograph clicked by Gurpreet Singh of a girl topper being congratulated by her family and friends and a woman cop explaining the traffic rules.

Jasbir Malhi captured the moment when the very beloved Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann bowed before a small girl to show his respect for the girl child.

The painted face of a girl and the plea of a young girl in a play photographed at the Tagore Theatre by Manoj Mahajan not to abort the female fetus is poignant.

A girl child is so precious –she plays with friends, she is eager to learn, she is hard-working, she is a source of joy for her parents and she can, if need be, fight for what she thinks is right is delineated in the photograph of a woman student protester at Panjab University.

And there is a very meaningful photograph by Anil Dayal in which a girl, who is studying, is silhouetted against the rising Sun. Just like the Sun, she will shine brightly through education she is imbibing and will dispel the darkness.

Akhilesh Kumar, the veteran photojournalist of The Hindu fame, explained that the photojournalists mostly came across these pictures during “routine” coverage.

“Through these frames, photojournalists have conveyed the pride of nation and glory of motherhood from the eyes of women. A few frames depict the pride during the police parade and passing out parade and a father saluting the feat of his daughter while another highlights the girl child bringing laurels to the family while she tops the chart in school result. Photographs depicting a daughter’s zeal for going to school are a delight to watch,” he added.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Punjab Minister for Culture Navjot Singh Sidhu.

While appreciating the efforts of Photojournalists Welfare Association, Mr.Sidhu said:“These photojournalists – the unsung heroes in the world of journalism provide real pictures of the society through their frames. Their work is a delight to watch when we see a women or girl breaking the jinx or myth to prove herself in the society.”

He further said:’’the respect of the women starts from home first. A woman is the first among the equals. More respect, honour and equality to women folk is the need of the hour.”

At the concluding function, Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra asserted:”The Punjab Government is fully aware of its commitment and would ensure the honour and rights of the women are protected.”

Several women scribes were also felicitated, prominent among them being Archana Sethi (Punjab Kesari), Kamla Sharma ( Chardikala), Manraj Grewal (Hindustan  Times), Monika Sharma (Hindustan Times) and Sukhdeep Kaur ( Hindustan Times).

Others who were present included  Satinder Satti, Chairman, Punjab Arts Council and  Anu Chatrath, Additional Advocate General, Punjab.

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