K. Ramnath Chandrasekar
I have observed that a vast number of students studying in Government and Government aided schools in India have very little access or exposure to India’s natural heritage and complex conservation issues. It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that these students grow up as young adults who are unaware of and are indifferent to environment conservation. The situation becomes alarming when many of these students enter the country’s Forestry service, Administrative service and other important Government positions. They are the ones who decide the fate of my country’s natural and cultural heritage.
When I realised this seven years back, I gave up ‘snapshot nature photography’, and decided to use visual storytelling to connect the younger generation to nature and conservation. This is my life’s mission.
My name is Ramnath, a conservation educator. I have been enthralled by nature since childhood. During school days, the only way I could showcase the wonders of the natural world was to explore scrub jungles around my hometown, bottle specimens and talk about them to my schoolmates!
Few years later, a new world of possibilities opened up when my father gifted a Nikon F55 camera. Since then, I have put my heart and soul to build skills that will enable me to make a difference through conservation communication. During the last ten years, I have traveled across India; from rainforests of the Western Ghats to the high peaks of the Himalayan mountains; from arid regions of Gujarat to remote parts of India’s North East, to capture inspirational stories that facilitate people’s understanding of India’s rich natural and cultural heritage. At the same time, my team and I spearheaded nature and conservation education programs to reach out to thousands of students through Youth For Conservation (YFC), a non-profit initiative founded by Shekar Dattatri, an internationally acclaimed wildlife and conservation filmmaker.
From these and other rich experiences, I have been able to communicate the need for conservation very effectively. Today, I work in a space where photography, filmmaking and education converge. I strive to pursue projects that inspires and empowers India’s youth to become ambassadors for nature and environment . My strong belief is that, if children are nurtured and guided to be compassionate towards nature through innovative and engaging visual materials, they will become informed adults who are capable of choosing sustainable and ecologically conscious lifestyles. This is what I work for.
My curriculum vitae contains the list of projects I have worked in photography, filmmaking and conservation education, along with a few awards and recognitions I received for my work.