New Delhi:Minister for Information & Broadcasting M.Venkaiah Naidu conferred the Life Time Achievement Award to veteran photographer Raghu Rai at the 6th National Photography Awards ceremony in New Delhi on March 22. 2017.
The minister has said that photography as a communication tool was an influential medium to spread awareness and ensure good governance. Photographs along with social media had been a potent combination in today’s digital world. The ‘Selfie with Daughters’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi came out to be a powerful instrument of social change. This way of posting photos created a powerful impact on societal behaviour and ingrained cultural traditions. Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Ajay Mittal, Secretary I&B were also present on the occasion.
Naidu, while speaking on the role of photographs as a powerful medium of communication, quoted that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. They formed a means of artistic statement that provided insight into the thought and mental makeup of the communicator, while enabling them to transcend the limitations and boundaries of the linguistics of a written or spoken language. Elaborating further the minister said that photographs were a powerful language which spoke to our emotions and became a part of our legacy. The photograph of a three-year-old dead Syrian child washed ashore on a beach changed the entire world opinion on the refugee Crisis thereby shaking collective consciousness of the humanity.
Raghu Rai began his career as a photographer at the age of 23 in 1965. In the early years of his career, he was the Chief Photographer at the Statesman and later the Picture Editor of Sunday Magazine. He became the Picture Editor – Visualizer Photographer of India Today where he received acclaims for his series for his series on Great Masters of Indian classical music, Satyajit Ray and Mother Teresa. In 1992, he was awarded ‘Photographer of the Year in US and was conferred ‘Officiere des Arts et des Letters’ by the Government of France. Rai has also exhibited his works around the world. He continues to be an associate of Magnum Photos. He had tirelessly continued to photograph India through the 20th century and now into the 21st. He has done about 55 books on India on myriad themes. He also started Centre for Photography in 2011 to enhance and enrich creative explorations of young Indians.
National Photography Award is an annual event organized by Photo Division a media unit under Ministry of I&B. The event is organized to promote art, technique of photography and to encourage professional and amateur photographers from all corners of the country. The photo awards have been classified into three categories, with total of 13 awards. The awards include Life Time Achievement Award, Photographer of the year award in Professional and Amateur category with five Special Mention Awards in both categories each.