Many may call it beginner’s luck, but for Anasuya Paladugu it was a bolt from the blue. Being an amateur photographer, she never, even in her wildest dreams thought that she would win a prize in a State level photography competition on biodiversity. The contest was conducted on the sidelines of the World Biodiversity Convention held in Hyderabad.

For her, a doctor of medicine, photography is one of the few passionate hobbies she has. “Live and let live” is the caption of a colour photograph of various water birds preening their feathers on the iron stands erected by Forest Department in Uppalapadu sanctuary.

Consolation prize

Dr. Anasuya won a consolation prize in the category “Conservation of Biodiversity” piping several professionals who sent in their entries. Her entry was the best as the organisers chose not to award any of the top three prizes as none came close to the theme. But, the picture and caption submitted by Dr. Anasuya cannot be more appropriate to the category for all who know the story of Uppalapadu. Water birds including the gray pelicans that had vanished for a period from the Kolleru Lake flocked to one of the five drinking water tanks of the village.

Environmentalists, who knew the importance of these birds, prevailed upon the villagers to sacrifice one of the smaller water tanks for the avian flora.

In a couple of years Uppalapadu will become a very ‘important birding area’ with thousands of water birds coming and roosting there in different seasons. The spot is a unique birding area in the world, considering the high density of birds that are seen there.

Dr. Anasuya is now an inspiration to women who are interested in photography. “Photography improves your eye for detail.

Now I see things that I used to never notice before I began photography,” she said and added “I have learnt the photography is not just taking pictures of things you find beautiful or like. It is also about telling a story,” she said.

Though she is an amateur photographer she is thanks some freelance news photographers for their guidance in selecting and presenting photographs for the competition.

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