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Updated: October 26, 2012 11:19 IST

Wild is our pride

Madhur Tankha
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A DIFFERENT VIEW: A picture by Archna Singh to be displayed at a five-day wildlife photo exhibition, “On Higher Ground”, which opens at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi tomorrow.
A DIFFERENT VIEW: A picture by Archna Singh to be displayed at a five-day wildlife photo exhibition, “On Higher Ground”, which opens at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi tomorrow.

A fashion designer by profession and a wildlife photographer by choice, Gurgaon-based Archna Singh has been capturing wildlife with the single-minded objective of making humans understand that they need to be more compassionate towards them.

Now nearly 100 pictures taken in the wilds of Africa and India since 2006 will be exhibited at a five-day solo exhibition titled “On Higher Ground” which opens at Visual Arts Gallery of India Habitat Centre here on October 27.

Besides pictures that focus on how animals survive in the wild, Archna has come out with suitable captions. Like in one picture of a tiger cub, the caption reads: “He has a right to live, to procreate, grow old and survive. He is his mother’s pride and joy, let him be free to roam the wild.”

Besides showing more empathy towards animals, Archna does not want humans to encroach on their habitat in the name of development. She wants visitors to understand that animals have emotions just like humans do.

“Unfortunately, encroachments are increasingly becoming more rampant. During my recent visit to Ranthambhore sanctuary, I was taken aback to see villagers casually walking inside the sanctuary. Besides the presence of humans inside wildlife sanctuaries, some people have built religious edifices inside the forest area,” says Archna.

A teacher at the Pearl Academy for the past 15 years, Archna has come to the conclusion that students need to know more about animals, particularly the tiger which is our national animal. “Students are completely at sea when it comes to distinguishing between a cheetah and a snow leopard. While teaching design, if a topic on wildlife comes up, I do take charge and explain in detail. There is just not enough awareness about the beautiful but rapidly declining wildlife globally,” she rues.

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