People who visited the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat on Friday were in for a surprise. They got to see a rare collection of photographs taken by Congress general secretary, Digvijaya Singh, at the ongoing Wildlife Photography Exhibition.
He is displaying 20 photographs from his collection of 5,000 frames at the exhibition whose theme is tiger. He is sharing the space with his photographer friend and teacher Dr Venkat, a wildlife photographer and doctor from Hyderabad.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the six-day exhibition, Singh said photography was his pastime. “I’ve been a casual photographer since 1985-86 and this is only the second time I am showcasing my works.
The first was in Hyderabad in 2007-08. The reason why I chose Bengaluru for the exhibition is because I like the Kabini backwaters and the Rangathittu Bird Sanctuary for photography. I’m very interested in bird photography as it is very difficult to get the right frame even of a pheasant and jungle fowl. The best places in India to shoot are Khana, Madhavgad, Kaziranga, Daroji and Bannerghatta.”
The Congress leader said that people talked about tiger conservation without realising that it could not be done unless the habitats were protected. “It is important to reduce man-animal conflict and maintain buffer zones, something the forest department officials are unable to implement properly. In such cases, if they approach the government, we will surely help,” he said.
He pointed that the best reserves were in Africa because wildlife there also meant employment for people. “But here (in India) unfortunately, we are not able to develop it and provide livelihood to people. The forest and tourism ministry should look into it so that wildlife tourism gets attractive. On account of Supreme Court orders, wildlife tourism is getting a setback. I’m requesting the government of India and the courts not to see wildlife as mere conservation. They should enthuse people to come and have a look (at them).”
A total of 200 photographs are on display at the exhibition. A wildlife catalogue of the exhibition and a book entitled ‘Ultimate Biodiversity Through Photography’ was released on the occasion.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was present, said photography was not his hobby but did interest him since he was a child.
“Taking a perfect wildlife frame needs a lot of patience and courage, which is lacking among most people today. The State government is doing everything to conserve forests and wildlife, especially tigers and elephants. Karnataka has the largest population of the two animals in India,” he added.