‘Moment of pride for all of us,’ says ace J&K photographer Channi Anand on bagging the Pulitzer Prize
Channi Anand of Jammu and Kashmir, along with Mukhtar Khan and Yasin Dar from Kashmir, was conferred the prestigious award on Monday.
“Though I knew that there’s a Pulitzer Prize, I never dreamt that one day I would be honoured with it. I am speechless,” reacted Channi Anand, one of the ace photographers of Jammu and Kashmir who, along with Mukhtar Khan and Yasin Dar from Kashmir, was conferred the prestigious award on Monday.
They work for Associated Press and won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for their “striking images of life” in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre abrogated the territory’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution in August last year.
Anand participated in World Press competitions during initial years of his career but then stopped participating because he felt that “Indian lensmen were not recognized for their work at that forum.”
However, it is for the first time that photographers from South Asia got this prestigious award, he said.
The 50-year-old remained a stringer with the AP for 16 years before taken on board as a staffer four years ago.
A go-getter, Anand has covered many terror attacks, Pakistani shelling on the Indo-Pak borders and life in the conflict zone.
“I joined AP as a stringer in 1999 and four years back was made staff photo journalist. I started my career from State Times and then moved to Amar Ujala, contributed for ‘The Week’ and ‘India Today’ before switching over to AP,” he said.
“It is indeed a moment of pride for me, my family, the people of J&K and especially the media fraternity. I think this award is in recognition of my long struggle of 23 years,” he said.
Anand said the award left him speechless. “I was shocked and could not believe it,” he added.
Anand informed that he, along with two other colleagues of the AP from Kashmir, had worked on a photo feature on life post- revocation of Article 370 in August last year.
The soft-spoken lensman has done his schooling from Shastri Memorial Public School and Ranbir Higher Secondary School before taking online classes in photography.
The Pulitzer Prize is considered the most prestigious award in journalism.