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“Many journalists should keep talking, taking risk, keep writing”

 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Ravish Kumar

Mumbai, 15th December, 2020:

Noted music composer Usha Khanna was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th edition of the National Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity by Population First, in collaboration with UNFPA, at an online event this evening. Reshma Pathan, the first female stunt artist in Bollywood, was presented the ‘Woman behind the scene’ award.

Ms Usha Khanna was felicitated for her melodious contribution to Hindi films, and succeeding in a field that was almost reserved for men till she entered it. Reshma Pathan, most famous for her role of the body double of Hema Malini in the iconic film Sholay, is also the first female member of the Stunt Artists Association India.

The award event was held online on the youtube channel of Population First www.youtube.com/user/LaadliWest

Senior journalist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Ravish Kumar was the chief guest at the function. Disciples of well known sufi singer UstadMa Zila Khan’s academy UstadGah perform during the event.

Argentina Matavel Piccin, Country Representative India UNFPA said, “UNFPA recognizes the critical role of the media in shaping perceptions around value of women and girls. Policies and services impact women and men differently whether in health, education, the workplace, disasters, pandemics or other areas. I am glad our award winners have written a range of stories and analysed them using a gender lens. I hope they keep revisiting conversations around gender and raise the bar on reporting from a gender perspective.”

Dr A L Sharada, Director, Population First said, “The award winners have examined multiple social issues through a gender lens and created narratives that are rarely found in media and advertising. They have analysed the intersectionality of caste, class, and gender, destigmatized the woman’s body, analysed the equal vulnerability of men to patriarchal values, and created compelling stories that gave hope and uplifted our spirits. The winners and all those who submitted their entries show that inclusive and sensitive journalism and communication is alive and continuing to thrive.”

Ravish Kumar, Senior executive editor, NDTV India said, “Laadlon ki duniya mein koi puraskar khud ko laadli keheta ho, ye kitni achchhi baat hai! There is grit in this title. And it is inclusive, because male journalists have also won it.” He advised the journalists not to lose hope, and keep writing/talking till there is a single reader/viewer left. “Many journalists should keep talking, taking risk, keep writing. These would be the bricks of the foundation on which a new media will be formed, so keep up your spirits,” he added. He admitted that the newsrooms were proof of patriarchy, the language and the body language of both male and female journalists was patriarchal. We need to get inside an operation theatre to pull out this bug of patriarchy from within us. It is an ongoing process and we should keep at it.”

Usha Khanna said, “I am very happy to receive this award. It proves that you have recognised my talent. When I came to this industry, I was just 17. I had actually wanted to become a singer. But I couldn’t. So I decided to compose music, which I love. But people wouldn’t believe that I had composed the music. When my first film Dil Deke Dekho was released, people said that someone else had done the music and I was taking the credit.”

Reshma Pathan said, “I am the first stuntwoman in the industry, I am also the first stunt artist to win awards. Stunt directors have won awards, but male stunt artists haven’t! Thank you Laadli for thinking of us as deserving this honour.”

The other winners of the LMAAGS 2020 were also awarded like Autobiography was presented to Lisa Ray’s Close to the Bone: A Memoir and Award for Book – Fiction was presented to Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s Radiance of a Thousand Suns. The Book- Non-Fiction – sports and adventure category was awarded to Free Hit by Suprita Das. For the category ‘Theatre’ was given to Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal and Poor Box Productions for ‘Vagina Monologues’. Another ‘Theatre’ category award was given to Manjul Bhardwaj from Experimental Theatre Foundation. Award for Feature Film is shared by ‘Bombay Rose’, an Indian animated film written, edited, designed and directed by Gitanjali Rao and ‘Article 15’, an Indian Hindi crime thriller film co-written by Gaurav Solanki, written, produced and directed by Anubhav Sinha, and produced by Zee Studios.

OTT – newly introduced category

Three new categories were introduced this year, for category  ‘Web Series’, the award was given to ‘Made in Heaven’ and  category ‘Feature Film’ released on OTT Platform’,  the film Soni, directed by Ivan Ayr.

A new category of award was announced this year  for ‘the most inspiring woman protagonist in a TV serial’ has gone to the character of Mini, essayed by Ashnoor Kaur, in Patiala Babes, the TV show on Sony TV.  With this, the Laadli Media Awards as it is popularly called have expanded its wings to the GEC space.

Awards in advertising

The first runner up – BBDO – for category TV Ad product for #ShareTheLoad “Are we teaching our sons what we have been teaching our daughters?” – Ariel.

The second runner up – Ogilvy & Mather in Digital Ad category – product for #StopSayingWomenCant – Greenply

Award – Ogilvy – for category TV Ad – Product for #FlauntYourFlaw – Titan Raga

Award – Grey India in the category Digital Ad – Product for The Barbershop Girls of India – Gillette India.

Award – DDB Mudra – for category CSR for #Project Free Period- Stayfree

Award – WATConsult, a part of Dentsu Aegis Network India – for category Social Media Campaign for #Powerless Queen – Nanhi Kali

Award – The Grand Prix Award goes to WATConsult, a part of Dentsu Aegis Network India – for #Powerless Queen – Nanhi Kali

Awards in Journalism.

The regional event of the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2020 was held a couple of weeks ago. We felicitated 93 journalists across India, from 10 languages, writing in newspapers, news portals, websites, blogs, etc. The next set of awardees were chosen from these 93 regional winners.

1 Vikas Trivedi for his blog औरतें किस एक चीज़ से आज़ादी चाहती हैं? #DigitalTrashbin on bbc.com in which he asks women the pertinent question of what should be chucked in the trash bin and gets interesting answers.

2 Kunal Purohit is awarded for his podcast ‘Night Shift’ on theswaddle.com in which he chronicles the lives of four Mumbai women working at night in unconventional occupations.

3 Rini Barman is awarded for her well researched essay on the Bhawaiyaa singers on zubaanprojects.org. The essay is an exploration of the voice of the Bhawaiyaa women as they express their rebellion against patriarchal control over their bodies and their desire through folk music.

4 Ahmedabad Mirror is awarded for its campaign on a biker harassing young women, for which a team of reporters worked to expose the molester encouraging more girls to come forward and complain.

5 Rudra Prasanna Rath is awarded for his editorial ‘Jhia Jadi Kali’ in Dharitri in which he emphasises how colourism negatively impacts both men and women with dark complexion; and yet men are not seen with the same derision as women.

6 Sumit Bhattacharjee is awarded for his investigative report ‘Araku Valley’s Dark Secret’ in The Hindu, for exposing the underpinnings of sex trafficking of tribal girls and women.

7 Shruti Sharada is awarded for her report ‘The Sexual Violence Of Flashing, And The Problem With Saying, ‘It Could Have Been Worse!’’ on womensweb.in in which she discusses the sexual violence of flashing in public places and how it is less talked about.

8 Raksha Kumar for her feature ‘The super women from Himachal show why empowered women make for an empowered country’ in The Hindu, in which she profiles the achievements of women from a far flung mountainous village Bhuira in Himachal Pradesh.

9 Jyoti Yadav for her feature ‘MOL KI BAHUEIN : HARIYANVI MARDON KE EHSAN TALE DABI AURATEIN JIN KI APNI PEHCHAN KHO GAYI’ on theprint.in, in which she writes about the women trafficked to Haryana for marriage and exposes their plight and drudgery.

10 Bijaya Dwibedi is awarded for his news report ‘Bhabi swamyra pheriba baataku chahin rahibaku paduchi abibahita’ in The Samaja, that highlights the centuries old custom of marrying girls as soon as they are born, still in practice.

Sameera Khan was presented the SPECIAL AWARD FOR PROMOTING GENDER SENSITIVITY IN MEDIA REPORTING. Sameera has been a journalist, an academician, a researcher, and an author; and she has been writing on gender sensitive reporting on incidents of sexual violence in all these capacities.

The Priyanka Dahale award for a young promising journalist, was given to Neetu Singh, a reporter from gaonconnection.com. She writes from the ground, follows her stories to their logical conclusion, never letting the ‘human’ element get out of it. Priyanka Dahale was the winner of the best column award in 2010-11, for her writing in Marathi Daily Loksatta, Pune edition. She worked with Dainik Divya Marathi after that, till May 2015 when she died in a road accident, on her way to her hometown Nashik for her engagement. She had shown a lot of promise and had written several good reports, along with a book, in a short span. Population First has instituted an award in her name

About Mahender Bansal

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