20 Apr 2018
Two Indian photojournalists part of Reuters Pulitzer Prize winning team
Written byPallabi ChatterjeeMumbai
Every photo tells a story and a Reuters team of photojournalists did exactly that when they captured the plight of nearly 600,000 Rohingya refugees desperately trying to flee Myanmar and come to Bangladesh in 2017.
The team comprising two Indians recently won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.
Their aim was simple: to showcase the actual struggle faced by Rohingyas.
They wanted world to see the plight of Rohingya refugees
Meet Danish Siddiqui and Adnan Abidi, whose photographs were among 16 other clicks compiled in a series showcasing the Rohingya mass exodus.
While Siddiqui visited Bangladesh in September 2017, when the Myanmar military had set fire to thousands of Rohingya homes, Abidi visited in the October-November stretch.
They endured harsh weather, heavy monsoon and even leeches to bring out the pain of the refugees.
Danish battled heavy monsoon for 3-weeks to get the clicks
"I was visiting my parents' home in New Delhi that time. I got a visa, and within 24 hours, I was flying to Bangladesh," said Siddiqui (35), who traveled for five hours every day to reach Shah Porir Dwip from Cox's Bazar on SE coast of Bangladesh.
He further said that the refugees have been simply dumped there, as the beach is unused and uninhabitable.
Have a look
Abidi's image of a young boy's scar-ridden chest hits you
Meanwhile, Abidi who visited Bangladesh for 15 days, said his photo of a boy's scar-ridden chest was clicked when his translator noticed it and told him.
The duo approached the father and learnt that the seven-year-old had been shot.
Hence, his focus was only the scar, 'because that says everything.'
They were put on rotation that helped them overcome the emotional exhaustion, said Abidi.
Report: Myanmar military committed mass rapes of Rohingya women
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has accused the Myanmar military of gang-raping several women and girls belonging to the Rohingya Muslim community.
The HRW said the sexual violence and the atrocities allegedly committed by Myanmar security forces constituted crimes against humanity.
The alleged actions were committed during a brutal military campaign that forced over 600,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh since August.