About Late Shri Mahendra Choudhry

Late Shri Mahendra Choudhry, well known as ‘Pitamah of Press Photography’ in Madhya Pradesh was born on 18th October 1935 to Late Shri Kanchhedi Lal ji and Late Shrimati Gindi Bai of renowned business and benevolent family of Late Seth Shri Sulekhichand ji Choudhry (Jain).

He gave more importance to his dreams thereby leaving well established family business and entered the world of News and Media with his camera as his best friend. He introduced press photography in Jabalpur almost 70 years back and for his love of journalism and photography he never accepted any payments or fees for his work.

His family was well known for public services. His following of Jain religion and charitable work by his family played a major role in his upbringing and even he was always dedicated for and played a major role whenever the society needed it.

Late Shri Mahendra Choudhry ji helped the administration in saving the lives of many people of Jabalpur in Hindu – Sikh riots of 1984 after brutal assassination of Prime Minister Late Shrimati Indira Gandhi ji as well as between 1990 and 1992 when riots broke out for different reasons including demolition of Babri structure at Ayodhya. His photographs and positive thoughts published in newspapers and his good personal relations and motivation of leaders of all religions and sects helped the administration in bringing together opposing groups thereby in saving the destruction of property and death of hundreds of citizens.

Looking into his commitment towards his work and selfless service for general public at large he was honoured with ‘Kabir Samman’ by State of Madhya Pradesh which was presented to him by than Public Health and Irrigation minister Shri Harvansh Singh ji on 27 January 1995.

Late Shri Mahendra Choudhry ji was member of Jain Panchayat Sabha, Digambar Jain Mandir Trust - Madhiya ji, Life member of Hitkarini Sabha and many other philanthropic organisations. He was also associated with as member of Journalist Union, Press Photography Association, Working Journalist Union and was Patron of Journalist Forum. He was honoured by many well-known organizations time to time for his work in field of Photo Journalism as well as his charitable endeavours. His photographs were published in more than 15 reputed magazines and newspapers and this continued for more than 40 years. He was honoured and respected by all media houses of his time.

Although Shri Mahendra Choudhry ji was suffering from Cancer still, he worked till almost end of his worldly life and left for heavenly abode on 24th February 1996. Governor, Chief Minister of MP Shri Digvijay Singh ji and the whole Journalist fraternity mourned over his passing away and condolence messages were received from all over the country. Mayor Sushri Kalyani Pandey and Ward Member Shrimati Vandna Vajpayee, changed the name of Hanuman Tal ward to Shri Mahendra Choudhry Ward in his honour so that his name inspires the coming generation.

To honour his role in society and dedication towards photo journalism Government of Madhya Pradesh, initiated an award in his name "Late Shri Mahendra Choudhry Rajya Chhayakar Award" which is presented to dedicated photo journalist of the state.

यह संस्कारधानी जबलपुर के लिए अत्यंत गौरव और हर्ष का बिषय है कि नगर के मूर्धन्य फोटो पत्रकार स्व. महेन्द्र चौधरी की स्मृति में मध्यप्रदेश शासन ने राष्ट्रीय स्तर का पहला फोटो पत्रकारिता पुरस्कार स्थापित किया है. स्व. श्री चौधरी ने हर कोण से जीवन को कैमरे के लैंस की निगाहों से देखा, उसे कलम से लिपिबद्ध भी किया और इस क्षेत्र में काम करने वाले लोगो के सामने काम करने की अलहदा शैली का उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया|

गौरतलब है कि स्व. महेन्द्र चौधरी संस्कारधानी के प्रथम फोटो पत्रकार थे जिन्होंने जबलपुर में फोटो पत्रकारिता की विद्धा को नई ऊचाईयां प्रदान की बल्कि सही मायने में जबलपुर में प्रेस फोटोग्राफी के सूत्रधार थे. कई दशकों तक लगातार सक्रीय फोटो पत्रकारिता करने के बाद अस्वस्थ होने के बावजूद वे अन्य फोटोग्राफी और सक्रीय युवा चेहरों को मार्गदर्शन प्रदान करते थे. मध्यप्रदेश शासन ने स्व. श्री चौधरी के नाम पर फोटो पत्रकारिता पुरुस्कार स्थापित करने का निर्णय लिया और उसी कड़ी में यह पुरुस्कार इस वर्ष से प्रारम्भ किया गया. इस कार्यक्रम में बड़ी संख्या में मीडिया जगत और विभिन्न क्षेत्रों के व्यक्तित्व मौजूद थे. यहाँ यह भी उल्लेख करना आवश्यक है कि विगत 11 वर्षों से जबलपुर में भी स्व. महेन्द्र चौधरी के नाम से नगर निगम जबलपुर एवं रोटरी क्लब जबलपुर साऊथ के सहयोग से प्रतिवर्ष चित्रान्जली प्रतियोगिता का आयोजन किया जाता है, जिसमे छायाकार भाग लेते है|