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Newspaper by Rural Indian Women Wins UN Literacy Award

  • August 4, 2009
  • Maya
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Via Deccan Herald

Khabar Lahariya, the fortnightly newspaper distributed to more than 20,000 readers in Uttar Pradesh, is entirely created and marketed by newly literate “low caste” women who are training as journalists in Chitrakoot and Banda districts.

The King Sejong Literacy Prize was given to this fortnightly paper, started by Nirantar — a centre for gender and education based in New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

In 1989, the Unesco’s King Sejong Literacy Prize was instituted by South Korea. It is named after Sejong the Great of the 14th century who created the Korean alphabet Hangul and is remembered for his contribution to education in the areas of science, technology and literature. Each winner is awarded $20,000.

Nirantar has developed a method of training women as journalists, which involves developing their literacy skills as well as honing their reporting abilities. This includes talking to public figures, gathering information and sharpening their editing skills.

The coverage of Khabar Lahriya includes politics, crime, social issues and entertainment for their readership that spans 400 villages in both districts of India’s most populous state.

The publication began in May 2002 in Chitrakoot and a second edition was launched in the adjoining Banda district in October 2006, according to the NGO’s website. It is written in the local dialect Bundeli for its Bundelkhandi readership.

Read the entire article here.

Via Nirantar

Khabar Lahariya is a unique example of transformative education. It has enabled rural, Dalit, newly-literate women to enter and transform the public arena of media and information creation, a space traditionally dominated by ‘upper-caste’ men. In a crucial, innovative way, it strengthens grassroots democracy and challenges gender and caste relations. Its investigative style of reportage not only makes it popular with its readers but is also important in putting in place a culture of accountability and transparency. Several reports published in Khabar Lahariya have enabled people to act and demand redress.

Read more about the paper here.

Image Source: yumievriwan

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