A report on the struggles of world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen, another on the daily hardship faced by Punjab girls in their pursuit of education, and an investigative story on deaths during childbirth by three journalists from The Indian Express were among the winners at the 13th Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity, held at Jaipur on Saturday.
Nitin Sharma, assistant editor, won the award for the report, ‘Don’t wear shorts they told her… this gold medal will inspire all girls’. The report details the struggles of Zareen in her pursuit of the world title – from taunts by relatives and friends to getting injured in the boxing ring to her mother worrying about her marriage.
Divya Goyal, principal correspondent, won the award for the report, ‘Riding a boat across Sutlej, two girls from Punjab border village make it to high school’. The report detailed the everyday lives of two young girls from Kaluwala village in Ferozepur district, situated on the India-Pakistan border, who pull a boat every day due to lack of a bridge to reach their school. The National Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of the report and issued a notice to the Punjab government. This was followed by a visit of the Punjab education minister to the spot. The minister announced a bridge, which awaits the Centre’s approval.
Rupsa Chakraborty, special correspondent, won the award in the ‘investigative category’ for her report titled ‘’Death during childbirth at Mumbai’s M-East maternal health takes a beating’, which delved into the issue of high maternal mortality rates in Mumbai’s M-East ward that stands lowest in the human development index. The reporter gathered data of six years that outlined alarming maternal deaths in slums that were going unreported. The data highlighted the disparity in healthcare facilities between M-East and other wards.
A total of 87 winners and 31 jury appreciation awards out of a total of 857 entries in 13 languages were announced at the awards ceremony held at Rajasthan International Centre. This was the 13th edition of awards, which were constituted by Population First in association with UNFPA and Jaipur-based media advocacy organisation Lok Samvad Sansthan.
Dr Dev Swarup, Vice-Chancellor of Baba Amte Divyang University, Jaipur was the chief guest while Jaydeep Biswas, chief, policy and partnership, UNFPA INDIA, was guest of honour.
Dr AL Sharada, CEO of Population First, said, “A yearlong advocacy initiative led to a total of 30 jury meetings to identify the deserving winners. A diverse panel of 55 eminent personalities from various fields participated in the selection process, recognising 87 journalists with the prestigious Laadli Media Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity and awarding an additional 31 with Jury Appreciation Citations.”