Saturday January 18, 2020

Riding on the waves of emancipation – Khabar Lahariya

Khabar Lahariya means a Wave of News

Khabar Lahariya: pic from portal of Khabar Lahariya

By Annesha Das Gupta

Deep in the hinterlands of Bundelkhand district in Uttar Pradesh, operates a unique weekly, completely run by the womenfolk. With the twin aims of community development and women literacy, the weekly – Khabar Lahariya, saw its inception in May of 2002. It was implemented with a view to encourage the rural masses to participate in the path of education and gender-sensitization, by NIRANTAR, a renowned centre for gender and education.

Since then, it has traversed a long way to achieve its goals and disseminating the essential features pertaining to the agrarian community, especially about those who belong to the marginalized sections of the society. With a readership of over 30,000 and a bag full of prestigious acclamations like UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Price and the Chameli Devi Jain Award, the newspaper has managed to crave in a niche for itself in the competitive world of publishing.

The 8-page long weekly informs the community about the occurrences that have happened in the surrounding areas to covering the details of national and international importance. The journalists heading the newspaper are all from the rural districts and their number has round up to 40, till now. Under the supervision of NIRANTAR, the women are trained in the sectors of community and rural journalism. They are made to go through the intensive curriculum which ranges from being sensitized to the diseases like HIV and AIDS to learning about gender discrimination and women empowerment.

Picture from FB page of Khabar Lahariya

The participants are chosen yearly by the methods of advertisement in the form of flyers and notices to calling up the graduates of Sahajani Shiksha Kendra, a parent female literacy program run by the centre. The members are equipped with digital cameras, microphones and laptops to write about the various situations that the community faces and all of it is printed in their own mother-tongue.

The group takes the material to the city of Allahabad where the final product comes out and is sold in the market at a meager price of 2 rupees. Sometimes workshops are conducted for the people to get them oriented with the nitty-gritty of newspaper production and management. Along with it the female journalists take out their time to interact with the community to get themselves more aware of the pressing issues like the lax in health, sanitization, education and bureaucratic negligence that the families coming from destitute backgrounds are made to live with.

Breaking the glass-ceiling and making their voices heard are the factors which can leave anyone in awe and it is now a common knowledge that their laude have extended to national and international boundaries and bringing in the attention of popular dailies like The Hindu and Tehelka.

The women of Khabar Lahariya have been giving an impetus to the rest of the female population in their villages to come out and make a stand in the public sphere and articulate their opinions. Despite, the fact that the war against the patriarchal and archaic mind-set is still on the feisty brigade continues to climb the rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

Among the many positive impacts, a few are that now the women are given the necessary opportunities to live a more sustainable life and the rural families are now more interested in getting their sons and especially their daughters educated on a long-term basis. Also, as the paper is produced in the common language, the people who were not acquainted with either Hindi or with English, now gets a chance to improve their erudite and make themselves as more aware citizens.

In 2008, NIRANTAR, decided to establish their program of Khabar Lahariya as an autonomous organization and now the agency is known as Pahal.

Annesha Das Gupta is a student of Sociology, pursuing her degree from IGNOU, Kolkata. She has a special interest in the branches of Feminism, Sexuality and Dalit Studies. Twitter: Dancingbluepen







  • Pragya Jha

    Good going girls! One of the best example of women empowerment.

Next Story

Hundreds of Needy People are Fed Everyday by India’s First “Roti Bank” in Mahoba District

A group of 5 elders and 40 youngsters manage and run the Roti Bank

Roti Bank
Roti Bank ensures Right to Food for underprivileged people. Wikimedia
  • Mahoba is one of the most backward districts of Bundelkhand
  • But Right to Food is turning into a reality for the needy people of the district
  • India’s first “Roti Bank” has been set up to help hungry people have access to basic necessity of food

Bundelkhand, August 21, 2017: India’s first “Roti Bank” is now operating successfully in Bundelkhand’s one of the most backward districts called Mahoba.

This “Roti Bank” is ensuring the most basic human right, i.e. the Right to Food is met for hundreds of people in dire need.

Also Read: Sanjha Chulha: This Famous Eatery from Kolkata Feeds the Underprivileged with their Food ATM

A group of 5 elders and 40 youngsters manage and run the Roti Bank. The noble initiative provides vegetables and home-cooked rotis to the underprivileged. Knocking on the doors of residents, the 40 youngsters ask for a donation in the form of two rotis to their “bank” which will go into feeding the hungry.

The Roti Bank was started in April 2017 under Bundeli Samaj’s supervision and began by feeding the beggars at railway stations. Slowly, it gained the confidence of the local people. Four months later, the generous organization is feeding about 400 people every day.

Slum Dwellers, patients outside the hospitals and the poor are now served through Roti Bank. The people behind Roti Bank have one collection point where all the donations are put together. Volunteers take the food from here and distribute it. The collections are done from 8 different sectors into which the city is divided.

Although, many supporters of the initiative are offering help, Tara Patkar, the mind behind the Roti bank explains, “We are scared of wastage. We will not increase operations till we are sure of the beneficiaries.”

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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