Woman photojournalist with indomitable strengths
The plucky woman who dared to reshape her own destiny for living life in a dignified manner is Sarvesh, contributing Indian newspaper industry photographically since last two decades.
Ajeet Singh, assistant editor of AAN, briefs the story of the extraordinary accomplishments
of this woman photojournalist with resolute spirit.
New Delhi based photo journalist, currently associated with Hindustan Times group, Sarvesh started the journey of her professional life in early 1990s, after spending around one decade in agony during her married life. “In childhood I used to dream to be a lawyer, but after passing higher secondary, I had to get married in 1976 on my parents wish, and my married life nightmare lasting up to November 1988 when I left my husband’s home, enfeebled me,” shared Sarvesh, “During next two-three years I had to struggle hard to survive before joining photo journalism,” she recalls.
How a simple gift can charge the destiny of a person having dedication to strive, was noteworthy in case of Sarvesh. With a camera gifted by one of her well wishers, she begun reshaping her destiny, initially being associated with The Himachal Times in Dehradun, where her first professional photograph was published.
Sarvesh’s photographs on earthquakes in Uttarkashi in 1991 made her a well known woman photo journalist when almost all major newspapers published her images. “It was the time for me to prove my skills and capacity to establish myself in this men dominated profession, so I wanted to leave no stone unturned. Striving hard to give my best in covering the phenomena prevailing after the natural disaster in this district of Uttrakhand, I had to spend a week sleeping on the road, and finally the output was pleasing to me, seeing around fifty images published in various newspapers across the country.”
Another important event in her career was Kargil war when she dared to take risk of life in capturing crucial moments. During this war, more than Sarvesh’s 100 photographs were published in various newspapers. For one of these images, she was also awarded by the Govt. of India.
In this way, working as freelance photojournalist for many years before joining HT, Sarvesh has captured almost all aspects of life in India through her sensitive lenses, be it dark pits of the coals mines in Dhanbad and Jharia, Sitamarhi riots, Himalayan Car Rally, and Ladakh festival. As per eminent writer Chitra Mudgal, “Sarvesh, in her long career as a gifted photographer, had vividly captured varied images of Indian women. Through her commitment, professional knowledge and skill, she has portrayed country’s history, culture, art and events with a deep sensitivity with regard to the plight of Indian women.”
“Having passion to profession, I never think myself a female but a photographer. Awareness to surrounding and being hard working with dedication bring me strengths to perform the best,” said Sarvesh, with hope and vigour to capture the whole world in his camera, and in this effort she has already visited Sri Lanka, UK, Bhutan, Nepal, etc, apart from across India. Sarvesh has been contributing not only to newspaper industry, but also book publishing industry enriching many books with her images. And her outstanding contribution has been recognized with many awards given to her so far. ‘Women in the Time Of Flux’ was the first exhibition of her photographs organised in Bhopal in the year 2000.
With increasing influence of feminism, the world community advocates equal rights for women, emphasizing on showing love and respect towards them, providing due appreciation of their outstanding achievements in all walks of life, be it social, economic or political sphere. On this line, those women, such as Sarvesh, who dare to play effective roles in extremely men dominated areas in practice, also deserve to be incentivized significantly.