September 4, 2019
His name is Mathi and he is on a mission.Armed with just a basic camera Mathi (short form for Mathimaran. V) a photo journalist is out to bring about as much a change as possible in the mind set of the people towards flora and fauna,particularly of the Nilgiris.
In keeping with this 42 year old Mathi ,has for the past about decade and a half,been aiming his camera at anything that can be of help in making people live in harmony with nature especially wild animals.
Being firm in his belief that the time tested life style of the indigenous communities of the Nilgiris like the Badagas and the six particularly vulnerable tribes was unparalleled Mathi has been documenting various aspects of their culture.He has also been focussing on the changes that were taking place in different corners of the Nilgiris and their impact on the rapidly growing man-animal conflict.These and other features of the Blue Mountains like the unique Nilgiri Mountain Railway line between Mettupalayam and Ooty, dolmens , hero stones,rock arts and cave paintings have been the subjects of the photo exhibitions he has been organising periodically for the past about 15 years.
Speaking to The Covai Post, Mathi said that he now had over 6000 photographs and he was adding to the collection gradually. “So far I have organised 6005 exhibitions”,he said and added that most of them were for school children.
The objective was to enhance awareness about the growing threat to nature,wild animals culture etc.”I am glad that children have started asking questions”, Mathi said and expressed the confidence that through them their parents will start changing their attitude.
He added that his exhibitions were also highlighting the harm being caused by improper land use and unauthorised constructions.Stress was also on water pollution caused by industrial effluents and untreated sewage.
“At the exhibitions even if a few pause to ponder I’ll consider it as a great accomplishment”, Mathi said and hoped that the message would reach the tourists many of whom were very insensitive to the challenges confronting flora and fauna.