Pandemic & Pardhi

Pandemic & Pardhi, as a project started with a thought, “How are tribal communities surviving through this pandemic?” Cocooned into a proposal and forwarded to the National Geographic Society for an Emergency Grant, this thought evolved into a storytelling exploration project. Last Wilderness Foundation (LWF), an organisation working with tribes throughout central India became a bridge connecting me to the Pardhis of Panna and Baigas of Kanha.

The Pardhi community was infamous for its hunting traditions. But through intervention by the government and LWF, they have moved away from the jungle and practice alternative sources of livelihood. Through Pandemic & Pardhi, I want to depict the reality of tribes who live on the edges of forests and how the pandemic has impacted their livelihoods.

You can donate to LWF's COVID-19 relief  fundraiser for the Pardhi community, here.

Cover photograph by Ishan Sharma/ National Geographic Society Emergency Grant. Children of Babbar Bai Pardhi standing in front of their house – Lutwa Pardhi (age 12), Chigam Singh Pardhi (8), and inside the window, Mangra Singh (7) and Mowgli Singh (3).

Ishan Sharma - Filmmaker

Ishan Sharma


Ishan Sharma is a filmmaker and storyteller with expertise in delivering wildlife and nature stories. As a content creator, he directs and edits content for organisations and businesses working on social causes. Since 2016, Ishan has been filming stories of rural communities in Central India and the Himalayas; living with the head hunters of Manipur's Naga tribe, filming tiger conflict in Vidharba, making an audiovisual journal of the forest guards of Pench, and working with wildlife organisations in different landscapes. His short film 'A Tree' won the title of the best ultra-short film in Festival International Nature Namur (2019). In 2019, he was selected for the Vulcan Visiting World Filmmaker Scholarship.

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