The theme for this year’s contest was ‘Thrill of Life’ and photographers worldwide were invited to send their entries in categories like landscape, adventure and wildlife.
After a detailed shortlisting process, the voting for the finalists started last week, with Dr. Panda – who pursues photography as a passionate hobby – figuring among the finalists.
“It’s a privilege to be shortlisted for the award… Photography has always been a ‘stress-buster’ for me,” said Dr. Panda – who heads the Asian Heart Institute (AHI) here – with a smile.
Unknown to many, Dr. Panda’s heart beats for nature, flora and fauna which he pursues on weekends in Maharashtra and other states or even Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa blessed with a large variety of wildlife.
An avid wildlife photographer, who easily sheds his sterile surgical gloves, gown and scrub caps for coarse jungle outfits, sophisticated cameras, zoom lenses and prowls around in the jungles for birds, animals, reptiles or other fascinating things to ‘shoot’ on film.
Besides, he is also a philanthropist in the wildlife sector and had announced setting up an eco-friendly holiday resort for tourists the proceeds of which would benefit around 2,000 poor forest workers in Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
IANS had first featured this in detail and other such initiatives of Dr. Panda implemented in Kanha National Park and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (May 15), benefitting thousands of forest workers.
As he awaits the final announcement of the photography contest, Dr. Panda is also preparing for an exhibition of his photographs at the Nehru Centre, London in July 2023.
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