Avijan Saha

Avijan Saha


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meet avijan

Avijan Saha is from Siliguri, West Bengal, India. He loves to work in journalism and point out the environmental matter that defines our time. His special interest is in elephants. His father, his hero, bought him his first camera and said, “Just go on and try to make a bridge between the human and natural world.” His hometown is surrounded by several forests, the home of many endangered species. Documenting every situation that relates to elephants and people who are living with elephants, Avijan’s photographs are published widely.

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Nominated by: Kim Frank FN'18
Class of 2021 Location India

I have been working in a landscape called Terai, a mosaic and fragmented region covered by forests, tea gardens, human habitations, and industries. It is also a renowned zone with a history of elephant concentration. Every year more than ten people die by elephants and three to five elephants are killed by retaliation. Conflicts are increasing by both humans and elephants.

Elephant’s habitat and passage are shrinking. My photojournalism is not creating sufficient positive awareness in the local communities. I have started directing my efforts to children. Bringing education is the only key to developing a positive vibe through young generations who have a vital role to change the face of the highlighted word called, “Conflict.” I believe that education will change this Conflict to “Togetherness.” I hope this relationship will be sustainable for both of these species.

“I believe that education will change this Conflict to ‘Togetherness.’ I hope this relationship will be sustainable for both of these species.”

- Avijan Saha

When I was an editor and photographer in our Siliguri town-based area, I faced questions about elephants and their conservation basis. A perfect resolution was not obvious. Following my news work, I covered the conflict zone, asking people about elephants and their problems. My story is simple: explore the ground facts about what is going on. Is it always conflict or are there any positive stories about elephants and their mahout? To investigate, I documented solitary elephants, mostly bulls, and most of them engage in conflicts with humans. I used my camera to observe their behavior. In 2015, I made an identification book about those solitary bulls that focuses upon our landscape’s problems. This was a basic book for those people who are struggling with elephants every single day, losing property and even life. The book told them what they really need to do: individual elephant identification which is needed to avoid conflicts and casualties.

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