A heart-breaking photograph titled ‘Hell is Here’ showing elephants running across a street has bagged this year’s Photography Award by Sanctuary Asia. Clicked by Biplab Hazra, a wildlife photographer from West Bengal, the arresting image shows an adult elephant and a baby elephant running away from humans after they were set on fire. The image, unfortunately, shows the unending conflict between animals and humans and the marred concept of co-existing. According to The Sanctuary Asia foundation, this is quite a common scene in Bankura district of West Bengal. While India sustains 70 percent of world’s Asian elephant species, it is shameful that these kinds of inhuman behavior continue in many parts.
Condemning the act by humans, Sanctuary Asia shared the image on Facebook with the caption, “Mother and child flee a laughing, shouting mob while fire scorches their skin. If this image angers or upsets you, you have an opportunity to better understand Asian elephants, their wild habitats, and their conflict with humans.” In the photo, both mother and baby elephant look shocked and panicked. A mob is seen in the background of the picture running after throwing tar balls at the animals to keep them away from human settlement. The Sanctuary Nature Foundation is a Mumbai based non-government organization (NGO) that works towards biodiversity conservation and community engagement.
Here is the photograph:
The Guardian quoted The Sanctuary Nature Foundation, which awarded the prize as saying, “In the Bankura district of West Bengal, this sort of humiliation of pachyderms is routine, as it is in the other elephant-range states of Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and more.” The photography right named ‘Hell is Here’ also had social media in tears with people commenting about the atrocities animals are meted out on daily basis.