Top photographs of Nepal Photo Contest ’73 awarded

The house is crumbling down while the dust from the falling house covers the chaotic scene. The people are seen running away to safety among the small stupas. Deepak Ratna Bajracharya, who is a purohit, captured this image at Swoyambhunath on April 25, 2015. It was the day when Nepal trembled and Bajracharya “was running and clicking the photo”.

More than a year later, this photo became the winning photograph of   the Fifth Nepal Photo Contest 2073 and won ‘Photo of the Year’. On September 1 at Nepal Art Council, Babar Mahal, he was awarded with the ‘Photo of the Year’ trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh at the ‘Prize Distribution and Exhibition Inauguration Ceremony’.

“I’m glad to receive this award. This is an encouragement to me from the Photojournalists Club (PJ Club) to become a photographer,” Bajracharya shared after receiving the award.

Along with ‘Photo of the Year’, the competition was divided in seven categories — Ghumphir Culture and Tourism, Nature and Wildlife, Sports, Daily Life, Nepal Smiles and News. The top three winners of other six categories were also awarded at the event. They won Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.

Two of The Himalayan Times photojournalists — Rajesh Gurung and Naresh Shrestha — also won awards. Gurung grabbed the second prize in News, while Shrestha took home the first prize in Daily Life.

A girl jumping on sewage pipes, a group of women in Tamang attire performing a dance, people gathering to mourn at late ex-PM and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala’s funeral at Pashupati Aaryaghat, a boy carrying a child on his back on the streets of Lalitpur as they return home from school, children playing football on roof in the absence of playground in Rukum district, a rescued baby from the rubble during April 25 earthquake — the photographs have framed some amazing moments.

And you can see these photographs along with Bajracharya’s winning photograph — a total of 160 photographs at the exhibition that is on till September 6. The competition organised by PJ Club is a nationwide competition. It saw 6,670 photos which were judged by a panel of judges — veteran Indian photojournalist Prasant Panjiar, curator Sangeeta Thapa, senior photojournalist Narendra Shrestha and South Asia Coordinator of IFJ Ujjwal Acharya.

“Photojournalism is an essential part of mass media. This competition has provided a strong platform to flourish photojournalism. I believe these photos will provide a strong message and quality to develop photojournalism,” Dr Mahendra Bista, President of Federation of Nepali Journalists shared at the ceremony.

Chief guest Hem Raj Dhakal, Managing Director of IME Group expressed happiness that “PJ Club competition is helping photojournalism flourish professionally”.

The photos will also be exhibited in Biratnagar, Dharan, Sauraha, Bhairahawa, Pokhara, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi.