Nilanjana Bhowmick is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi India. She has been working for the last ten years. Her interest areas are human rights development, gender, children’s rights and development and society in general. She began her career with BBC radio in London however relocated to India in 2002 as she felt that the real body of her work was there. She worked with Times of India for two years before opting to become a freelance journalist because it became imperative for her that she would be “free” of an organization’s interest to write on issues that she believed to have a greater implication in society.
India recently joined the league of 130 nations in the world by making education a fundamental right for children between 6-14 years of age. However, there are many children in India, especially girls who go to school, but because of the housework they have to do to enable their parents to work, they cannot reap the benefit of the education that school provides. The new legislation will send children to schools but can it stop them from being exploited by their own families?Read article
Chitrangada Choudhury has worked as a news-reporter with two of India’s leading national dailies: the Indian Express (2003-6) and the Hindustan Times (2006-9). Her reportage and photography primarily covered policy and development issues, and probed power and marginality in a country in flux. In 2010, she elaborated on the themes explored in the attached story to work on a public research study on governance, insurgency and war in central India.
The War Within (Hindustan Times, 17 August 2009) was reported, after the author spent the month of July 2009 in insurgency and war-stricken, tribal-dominated districts of central India for her newspaper. The swathe of territory running down the length of the country combines a six decade-long legacy of government contempt and neglect and a Maoist (Naxal) armed insurgency, with recent big-ticket national and foreign investment seeking the region’s rich natural resources. In particular, the author wanted to highlight the voices of common, anonymous citizens who were left disempowered by the violence of the state and the insurgents, and whose experiences were finding inadequate space in national narratives of this war.Read article
Using India’s Right to Information (RTI) act, Shymlal Yadav looked at the state of programmes being implemented to control pollution in India’s major rivers. A scheme was launched in mid-1980s called the National River Conservation Programme (NRCP), within which vast sums were spent on improving the quality of some 37 rivers. But data shows that it had no positive effect on the rivers due to poor implementation and corruption. Shymlal’s story was a result of dedicated investigative journalism after some 39 RTI applications to various government authorities. It was the first time that a story on all the rivers under the protection of the NRCP was published in India, appearing in the India Today newspaper.
Shyamlal has worked as a journalist for 17 years, but first came to national attention after the Right to Information (RTI) act came into force in India in 2005. Shyamlal began using the act for journalistic purposes and published a number of influential articles using the information he gathered. Among the highlights were a series of stories on foreign visits by union ministers and bureaucrats. On 1 December 2009, leading TV news channel NDTV gave him an award as a “best user” of the RTI act, the only journalist to win that acclaim.Read article