THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:She is the only woman photojournalist who captured the demolition of Babri Masjid in her frames. Her picture which froze the moment in time when a soldier tried to attack then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his visit to Sri Lanka garnered international recognition.
Saraswathy Chakraborthi, among the first women photojournalists in the country who captured many landmark moments in history, was in the city on Wednesday. She, along with a group of well-known photojournalists shared their experiences with students of Government Women’s College.The students got the chance to witness a rare coming together of an illustrious group of women photojournalists offering a peek into their eventful career.
Photojournalists Shipra Das, U S Rakhi, Shajila and Anupama, the first woman to wield the television camera along with Chakraborthi, were felicitated at the event. The photojournalists narrated the challenges and discrimination they faced on account of their gender. For someone who was the first to take a step into a career which was then a male-bastion, Chakraborthi had many a tale to narrate. The students listened in rapt attention as she offered a glimpse into her spectacular career, a photographer with the Press Information Bureau in Delhi, where she captured moments in the lives of many statesmen, including former PMs Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Meanwhile, photojournalist Das shared her experiences when she started off her career capturing veteran Communist Jyoti Basu.She narrated the discrimination she faced on account of being a woman, including how she was laid off for being a woman in a male-dominated sector. Das also explained how her perseverance and passion helped her capture noteworthy images by venturing out into areas where even men wouldn’t dare to go. The programme was jointly organised by the Kerala Media Academy and the college union to mark International Women’s Day.
The event was held as a precursor to the second edition of the International Press Photo Festival, jointly organised by Kerala Media Academy and Information and Public Relations Department. Principal G Vijayalaksmi inaugurated the felicitation programme.