35 photographers raise funds for Leh relief (Lead,With Images)

September 4th, 2010 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Thirty-five top photographers from across the country have marshalled their camera to raise funds for the Leh town in Jammu and Kashmir that is grappling with the aftermath of a devastating cloudburst and mudslides.
The lensmen have contributed 85 works for a three-day fund-raising exhibition, “SOS Ladakh”, that opened at the Religare Arts I gallery in the capital Friday.

The funds raised by the sale of photographs from the exhibition will be used for relief work in Leh, the main town and administrative centre of the Ladakh region. The exhibition is a collaboration between NDTV’s Lifestyle SOS Ladakh Project and the Religare Arts Initiative.

The photographers, who have come to the aid of Leh, include Ram Rahman, Samar Jodha, Ajay Rajgharia, Dinesh Khanna, Prabir Purakayastha, Rajiv Srivastava, Rajbir Singh and Amit Pasricha.

“The money raised from the exhibition will be used to provide shelter and food to those who have lost their homes. The NDTV Hope Trust is spearheading the charity project,” Shibani Sharma Khanna, the channel head of NDTV Good Times and creative head of NDTV Lifestyle, told IANS.

“We have so far managed to raise Rs.20 lakh for relief. The idea behind the exhibition is our motto - ‘we take to give,” she said.

The photographs on display are a mix of the breathtaking mountainous landscapes of Ladakh, human suffering and difficult geographical terrains across the world, which connect the viewer to the topography of Ladakh and the plight of its people.

The vignettes are complimented by an array of “Save Ladakh” accessories, posters and souvenirs.

A massive cloudburst, a fierce storm, lashing rain and widespread mudslides Aug 6 ravaged the capital of Ladakh and its outlying areas, causing unprecedented damage. It killed at least 183 people and about 200 are still missing.

“The exhibition should not be treated as just another show. It is a humanitarian initiative — reflecting the spirit of corporate social responsibility of two companies, NDTV and Religare, and the sensitivity of the fraternity of artists,” Mukesh Panika, the director of Religare Art, told IANS.

Art is emerging as a potent opinion-maker and tool of philanthropy in the country, photographer, creative designer Ram Rahman said.

“Artists are contributing to charity more frequently now. A couple of years ago, Subodh Gupta mobilised 30 leading modern and contemporary artists to contribute their art works for an auction-cum-charity show to raise money for Bihar flood victims. He raised Rs.5 crore. The Chemould Gallery in Mumbai is organising an art raffle (lottery) to collect fund for Ladakh. Fund raisers are becoming common,” Rahman said.

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