Pulitzer for Danish Siddiqui, 3 other Indian photogs


NEW YORK: Slain photojournalist Danish Siddiqui is among four Indians honoured with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize 2022 in the feature photography category. Siddiqui and his colleagues Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo and Amit Dave from the Reuters news agency won the award, announced on Monday, for “images of Covid’s toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place”, according to Pulitzer Prizes website.
Siddiqui, who died in July 2021 while covering the war in Afghanistan, took many of the pictures, including an aerial shot of fires from a mass cremation lighting up a Delhi housing estate. One picture shows a gasping woman receiving oxygen in a car in a parking lot, because of the lack of space in hospitals. Another shows a 19-year-old in a protective suit kneeling before his mother’s body after it is placed on a pyre. Demonstrating that no one felt safe from the disease, Siddiqui also took a picture of an ash-covered Hindu holy man putting on a mask before a ritual dip in Ganga.
In western India, veteran photojournalist Dave took a photograph of a veil-covered brick kiln worker having her temperature checked in her hut during a vaccination drive.
Mattoo visited one of the most remote vaccination camps in the country, on a steep Himalayan hillside. With no roads suitable for cars, she went up by pony and trekked to the site in Lidderwat, about 3,400 metres high, to take the picture of a shepherd receiving his shot.
Abidi took a number of the photographs cited by the Pulitzer Prize jury. He travelled outside Delhi to find a village where a man had dragged a cot into the shade from the midsummer sun so his wife could lie in comfort before receiving rehydration fluid. “This is a tribute to him (Siddiqui) from the whole Reuters team,” said Abidi, who has been on two previous Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, one with Siddiqui. “I really miss him… I wish he was here with us.”