Sabyasachi Patra

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue I

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue I


IndiaWilds forums completes one month of its launch today. I am writing to thank you for your support in taking it off the ground. I welcome you again to the IndiaWilds family!

In a period of 30 days that coincided with the Christmas and New Year holidays, more than 160 odd members have signed in to appreciate and be custodians of India’s wildlife. More importantly we have received the support of some of the top names like Shri Rajesh Gopal, Director Project Tiger and National Tiger Conservation Authority, Valmik Thapar, field directors of various national parks, top NGOs, researchers etc.

Every journey starts with a small step. We are one month old but with the amount of good wishes pouring in, I am sure we would be able to connect people from all parts of the country pretty soon. Together we will harness the collective power and goodwill to form a potent force bringing about the desired change.

A part of the forum is dedicated to wildlife photography, showcasing and appreciating the beauty of India’s wilds. Wildlife Photography is playing a big role in documenting behaviour, reporting the health of our wildlife, as well as striking an emotional chord with people regarding conservation needs. It also aims at converting wildlife photographers into conservationists.

One of the tasks is to motivate our wildlife photographers to take up issues related to their area. For eg. every village, town, city has lots of wetlands and water bodies. In most of the cases, people believe those wetlands are wastelands – which is not the case. These spaces form an eco-space & residence for a lot of birds, insects and smaller mammals. Unfortunately, no body documents the importance of these vital eco-spaces. So when a builder comes and starts construction there, no body feels bad about it. The first step is to document before we can think of conserving.

In future, we will actively take up more campaigns on conservation issues from around the country. We will also constitute a Image of the Month category to recognize the top photographs uploaded in every calendar month. We have added a Photography Tips and Photo Equipment discussion section.

Some of the highlights of the forums:
In the conservation section the topics have ranged from original thoughts to issues demanding immediate support. There have been some pertinent topics for eg. Conservation is seen as elitist and lacks the political support base. Except for Indira Gandhi, there has been no Prime Minister who has shown as much will power to tackle the issue of conservation. Conservation has to be demystified and marketed as something not “good to have” but as a must have and must do for our survival.

I am inviting all of you to start threads on issues and garner support for it. Every month, we will take up the most deserving issue and focus our energies on it. While responding to the number of threads demanding your attention in the conservation section, you can also tell us how you got initiated into conservation by responding to this thread:

The wildlife photography section has seen images from various places and species. I would take this opportunity to again request our members to upload images without borders, so that it becomes easier to critique. Borders look good in prints but hamper critiquing in online forums.

The links to the top images between Dec 08 – Jan 09 are given below.
Jackal from Kanha by Manish Mutalik

Black shouldered Kite from Mahabaleshwar by Santanu Nandy

Kingfisher from Mangalajodi, Orissa by Satyabrata Mishra

An image that aptly depicts the state of our environment by Amit Mitra:

Narmada at Bheda Ghat by Chandravir Singh

Butterfly shot by Biraj Sarkar

Film makers may be interested in this link. It details the UK Environmental film fellowships:

I look forward to your comments, views, and posts to make this place lively, respected and effective in helping conserve our fast vanishing wilderness. I look forward to your suggestions.

Sabyasachi Patra
10th January, 2009

Sabyasachi Patra
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