Sukhmanjit Grewal from Hounslow in west London, captured the public’s and judges’ imagination with her stunning image of beautifully intricate henna painted hands and a diwali diva, which will now be printed as the Sightsavers Diwali card for this year. Sukhmanjit will also receive a Samsung digital camera and a pair of Polaroid sunglasses.
The competition, which was launched as part of Sightsavers’ Vision India fundraising campaign, encouraged anyone over the age of 16, to submit a photo that they felt captured the essence of Diwali through family, fun, colour or light.
Sightsavers has been working in India since 1966, and this year celebrates 45 years of positive change having supported around four million cataract surgeries during this period. However despite progress and continued fundraising the following statistics still need to be challenged:
• In the developing world, up to 60% of children die within two years of going blind
• Every minute, somewhere in the world a child goes blind
• There are 15 million blind people in India, 400,000 of which are children
Poonam Chengappa, Senior Manager of Brand and Communications at Sightsavers in India and one of the judges for the competition said of the entries: “We were absolutely delighted with the entries. People put a lot of thought into their selection and it was lovely to see everyone getting involved and voting for their favourites! It was a tough decision to make, but Sukhmanjit is a worthy winner. The framing in this photograph is great. The light and shadows, all of it give the picture a warm glow. Sightsavers will be very proud to print our very first Diwali card with this image.”
Sukhmanjit commented on winning: “When I found out that my photograph was selected as the overall winner, everything around me froze! I couldn’t stop smiling as it felt great to have my work recognised and appreciated. Diwali is an important festival in the Sikh and Hindu Calendar and is synonymous with lights. We can often take the lights and colours of the festival for granted. It is tragic that those without sight cannot see the beauty of the festival.. The most important aspect of the photo for me, was capturing the light of the diva in contrast to the shadows in the photograph. Hence the caption of the photograph, that we only know and understand what light is because we experience darkness. Diwali is more than just being able to light candles with our family and friends, it is about lighting the candles in each and every one of us and sharing even a glimmer of light with all those around us.”
Three runners up were also selected and will be receiving a pair of Polaroid Sunglasses each:
• Vinod Motiani from Oxford
• Abhisek Bhattacharya from London, E14
• Kishan Panchal from Waltham Abbey
The winning images for the Sightsavers Diwali Photo Competition can be seen by visiting www.sightsavers.org/diwali
The Sightsavers Diwali card will be available to purchase at the Sightsavers stand at Diwali in the Square, London on 16 October and will also be sent with any Diwali gifts ordered from the Gift of Sight website: www.giftofsight.co.uk
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