Shooter Gagan Narang dedicates his photography skills to support people with relief during COVID outbreak
India's Olympic hero, Gagan Narang, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, has been part of a unique initiative where he is reaching out to people through his penchant for photography.
The outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 has impacted India severely. In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 1.86 lakh new coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
Amid the prevailing grim situation, many of India's present and former sportspersons have stepped up to stand beside people with their efforts to provide COVID-relief. India's Olympic hero, Gagan Narang, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics in shooting, has been part of a unique initiative where he is reaching out to people through his penchant for photography. He has collaborated with a group of renowned wildlife photographers who have started an initiative called 'Pix4Cause', through which they created a digital platform to sell their images and generate funds for assisting the people in need.
In an exclusive interview with The Bridge, the Olympic medallist said, "A group of like-minded people joined hands through photography to initially providing aid through photography. However, after the coronavirus outbreak, it was very clear to us we need to stand beside people who are helpless amid the crisis. Many have lost their jobs and finding it difficult to earn their meals. We started reaching out to the people in need."
Pix4Cause has so far raised an amount of more than Rs 15 lakh and has been able to provide 12,800 lunch boxes to the needy in and around Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Coimbatore. Pix4Cause was a brainchild of wildlife photographer Mohan Thomas who has made it a habit of travelling to the most unusual of places around the world to click the most amazing of species in their natural habitats. Photographs of his tiger trails have literally put him on the map as one of India's renowned wildlife photographers.
For a long time, Narang himself has channelised his sharp-shooting abilities into photography. Wildlife was always a passion for the Olympian who aced the 10m Air Rifle in the shooting range. "Wildlife photography was always something that fascinated me. Because of my sports, I got to travel a lot of places around the world and could click photographs in the wild. In 2015, I became a brand ambassador for Nikkon and since then I have been to able give a lot of time to the art form. It has also become a way to unwind myself," says Narang.
"It's been a tough situation everywhere. The pandemic hasn't spared anyone and we are getting news of someone getting affected every now and then. Despite the situation, we are trying to reach out to people with help, have been talking to people in different cities, and doing the best we could," Narang adds.
When asked about the importance for a sportsperson to help the country amid the grieving situation, the shooter said, "Everyone in their capacity should come out to help. It shouldn't be only the sportspersons, but everyone who has an influential role should be beside the people who are in need. We are seeing doctors and other COVID warriors are fighting with all their might, but sometimes the situation is getting overwhelming for them. It is quite difficult to stay positive at this time. We also have to be strong around COVID patients, not only help them with our physical support but also mental support."
You can also be associated with Pix4Cause by either purchasing photographs from the website or you could simply donate to their relief work. To check out Pix4Cause photographs, click here. To donate, you can support here:
Pix4cause welfare Association.
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