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When the world’s humanity has continued to experience the greatest crisis of the century for the COVID 19 pandemic, a major portion of the Indian state West Bengal faced another threat in the mode of cyclone Amphan that made many people go hungry and shelterless. According to the estimate of the Government of West Bengal, the state had undergone through a loss of almost one lakh crore rupees due to the sudden outbreak of Amphan. To cope up with this huge loss, the State Government, Central Government, Non-Government Organisations, private organisations and individuals have spread their helping hands together. Saints in Need also came forward to help those Amphan affected people in rural Bengal through organising a photo exhibition for collecting aids.
An Amphan affected area of West Bengal. Image Source: The Guardian
The members of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) in India decided to offer a voluntary service to the affected people. The Executive Board Member of Photographic Society of America responded wholeheartedly to the call of Indian volunteers and helped them in this noble mission through waiving off all the associated fee. PSA also sponsored all the awards in this event. The entry fee collected from the participants will be directly transferred to the State Relief Fund for Amphan, and a portion of the fund will be directly credited to the accounts of Amphan victims. On behalf of the PSA volunteers in India, Dr. Avik Sett, EPSA, who chaired this exhibition, requested all volunteers and participants to contribute in this noble mission. Apart from the contribution of PSA volunteers in India and the participants, many people and organisations connected to photography in India and other countries like New Zealand, England, Austria, Poland, Germany, USA have contributed wholeheartedly to ensure foods, shelters and other relief materials for the affected people.
The entry of the event was open to everyone on the basis of the terms and conditions of the exhibition. The entry closed on 30 June 2020 followed by the judgement (5-7 July) and notification (20 July). Awards and catalogue would be despatched to the winners on 10 September 2020. A total of 245 entries featured in this photo exhibition from various countries across the world. The exhibition comprised 10 sections among which there were Open (colour and monochrome), Photo Travel, Nature, and Photo Journalism. The other sections were based on themes which are Man, Women, Child, Emotion, Human Portrait, and Daily Life. The entry fee was USD 15 for international and 1000 INR for Indian participants.
The jury members of Saints in Need PSA 2020-326 included world’s renowned photography experts such as Saibal Mondal, MPSA; Sharmali Das, GMPSA, BPSA; Subrata Bysack, GMPSA/P; Achinta Kumar Saha, GMPSA; Suniel Marathe, GMPSA; Tuhin Kanti Das, MPSA; Sanjoy Sengupta, GMPSA, BPSA; Soumen Kumar Ghosh, GMPSA, SPSA; Subhojit Biswas, MPSA; Amitabha Sil, EPSA; Pinki Ghosh Guha, EPSA; Suman Bhattacharaya, MPSA; Rajdeep Biswas, MPSA; Chinmoy Dutta, EPSA; Asok Samaddar, EPSA; Manash Das, MPSA; Koshal Basu, EPSA; Tapas Kumar Paul, MPSA; Nirmalya Bhattacharaya; Piyali Mitra, EPSA; Sudip Roychoudhury; Partha Saratha Sarkar; Abhijit Sarkar; Dr. Shourjendra Datta, EPSA; Arup Bhattacharaya, MPSA; Ratnajit Choudhury, EPSA; and Avishek Das.
Pixelclash believes in corporate social responsibility in times of needs. As a small gesture towards humanity in this moment of crisis, Pixelclash has sponsored the photo exhibition and provided them with technical support free of cost. Hope, the initiative of Saints in Need will inspire others to take measures for supporting humanity in this moment of natural disaster and century’s greatest pandemic. Together we can win every battle.