With the objective of highlighting the development challenges of women residing in rural and remote areas of the country, Charkha – The Development Communication Network announced the winners of The Sanjoy Ghose Media Awards 2020 on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Bisma Bhat (Jammu & Kashmir UT), Sumedha Pal (Bihar), Rukhsar Kousar (Jammu & Kashmir UT), Rama Sharma (Rajasthan) and Rajesh Nirmal (Uttar Pradesh) are the awardees selected for highlighting the most pressing, underreported issues concerning women in rural India.
The five winners were selected from amongst 37 entries received from J&K, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Kerala. The selection was made by the eminent jury which was chaired by Ms Pamela Philipose from The Wire; the other members being Mr Sudeep Thakur from Amar Ujala and Ms Nidhi Jamwal from Gaon Connection.
Rama and Rukhsar, who are also Charkha’s rural writers, will write on the challenges faced by adolescent girls in their respective states while Bismat, Sumedha and Rajesh will write on the issue of violence against women, the impact of migration from rural to urban areas and the role of women in decision making at the village level, respectively.
In the course of the next five months, the awardees are expected to submit five well-researched articles on their respective themes. Each awardee will receive certification and a cash prize of INR 50,000/- to support their research. The publication of these 25 articles will aim at creating a discussion to influence public policy and stir the social conscience of people.
“In the last few years, the women issues have received fair attention from our media. However, the issues covered are only restricted to urban areas and only on certain occasions, voices of rural women are included. Through these awards, we want to change that and ensure that voices of women from the remotest corner of our country are heard and registered,” shared Mario Noronha, Chief Executive Officer, Charkha.
Charkha will organize an orientation programme for the five awardees in which they will not only learn about the organization and its work but will receive guidance from the jury and prominent development journalists that will help them achieve the purpose of these awards.
Inspired by Charkha’s founder, Sanjoy Ghose, who worked towards the social and economic inclusion of marginalized rural communities through the creative use of media, these awards are an opportunity for writers to delve into the challenges faced by rural women belonging to disadvantaged communities in particular. These writings should bring attention to the struggles and success of women, which largely remain missing from the media.
Charkha is a non-profit organization working towards highlighting the voices of the disadvantaged communities through creative use of media.