“New Waves” or “Kabhar Lahariya” , a rural weekly news paper, has caught the attention of main stream media ever since it began the publication in May 2002. This, by the way, was not because they were endorsed by any celebrity or they reported a sensational news, but purely because of the contribution and impact they made to the people living in their community.
From being the most backward and most neglected to becoming succesful editors and marketing agents of the news paper, the women involved in this news paper, have come a long way. First they had to deal with the taboo of being woman to a Ofcourse they got the much needed help, guidance and direction from Nirantar, a center for gender and education.
The news paper highlights the issues, concerns, suggestions, news, views basically lending voice to the people in the community and in the process of bringing the district authorities attention to address them.
A few examples of the effectiveness of Khabar Lahariya reports: ( source: http://www.Nirantar.net )
- A report on stone quarrying in nearby Bharatkup highlighted its disastrous impact on the environment as well as the nexus between the contractors and administration. Farmers in the area began raising questions.
- A report on Sukhrampur village where nearly all the villagers had tuberculosis resulted in some health officers being pulled up for negligence and the villagers receiving treatment.
- Khabar Lahariya reported on police brutality against a Kol woman. The case was taken up by a local NGO and the reports added to the pressure on the police.
- These women have become role models and heroes in their communities and are respected for what they do.
The success story of the news paper and the women involved, interms of the impact they have made to the community, is a testament for what meaningful media can do to the society as a whole.
Thanks to Nirantar , who sent me a dvd and a copy of the Khabar lahariya , I got a glimpse into the journey of these self made journalists, editor, marketing agents.
for a copy of the news paper , click here