At Reuters he indeed proved his worth and rose well and fast through the ranks, covering stories across Asia. He told the students that he knew the dangers of the situations he would be in but always followed procedures, both mental and physical, and that he was given rigorous training by his agency.
Among other aspects of his training, he was also a licensed drone pilot and had used those skills to make the cremation ground image by which he has recently left an immense impact.
Danish always told the students that while clicking people for a sensitive story, one must be conscious about maintaining a distance and yet create an emotional connect with the subject. His last story on the COVID pandemic, which one can see on the Reuters website, is of the tragic demise of a young mother of three from rural Uttarakhand. The anguish, helplessness and pain of Pramila Devi and her family gets conveyed in a series of images that Danish captured while making a photo essay of her journey from home to a meagre health center in the difficult terrain of the Himalayas, the lack of oxygen and final departure to the cremation on the banks of the Ganges.
Another story on which he spent more than twenty-four hours was when he followed a junior doctor’s medical shift at Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital at the peak of the pandemic, which showed us his sensitivity towards the sufferers as well as the caregivers who had forsaken all to save lives that were on the edge.
Here, one got a sense of his position, in his own words, ‘not too close to intrude and yet wide enough to give the viewers a sense of scale’.
As soon as the news of Danish’s death spread, messages from students started pouring in to say how lucky they were to have interacted with a photographer of his stature and how his work had inspired them.