Niraj Mani Chourasia is the third place winner of the SAN Photo Contest. His winning photo details an ant carrying a drop of water and was taken in the certified tea estate Nonaipara, in India.
Niraj has been working in the farm for over a year and on a daily basis he is supervising plucking and other Garden operations. He is also in charge of the well-being of the rest of the workers and motivates them to follow the sustainability principles.
But above all, Niraj is as passionate as can be about sustainability and photography. The SAN talked with Niraj about his two passions:
SAN: Tell us the story behind your photo
Niraj Mani Chourasia: I am lucky to capture this mesmerizing event through my camera’s lens just after the rain. In this Garden ants and other flora and fauna can be seen because of ecological balance.
This picture indicates two different sides of a story. Firstly, it shows the importance & power of water to nurture the whole garden, and is also giving a warning by capturing the movement of the ant because of gravitational pull, indicating a two way sword kind of issue, if water conservation is not considered seriously.
It is our responsibility to hold the water, when our life is being hold by water. At this moment, it is the demand of time and we should handle the situation. The way the photo balances between both scenarios shows how any unbalance can cause casualties.
SAN: So photography means a lot to you
NMC: Yes, it is a mean for self-discovery & realization for me. I feel that I just help nature to convey the message through my photos. It has also spark some interest in identifying species of flora and fauna in the Garden.
SAN: And working in a certified farm, what do you think is the most important thing you do to achieve sustainability?
NMC: I think the most important thing about certification is being organized, disciplined, effective, more productive and responsible for what we do in a regular basis.
Certification has help us with our continual improvement and with the removal of wastage and implementation of sustainable techniques.
SAN: What is the most difficult thing for farmers throughout the process of certification and working towards sustainability?
NMC: In my opinion only lack of knowledge and insight to see the benefits of certification. It is not difficult, you just need dedication and willingness to go for it.
SAN: In your opinion, how certification has improve your farm?
NMC: Before certification, there was less awareness among the people regarding sustainability, natural conservation and the systematic approach to handle the work.
But after certification, now we have developed many standard procedure for handling any particular type of job in an effective & productive way. The training has raised the awareness among the people and has touched every single individual in my team.
You can check out some of Niraj’s photos in this gallery: