RedInk Awards 2019: Sonali Jain of Firstpost wins prize under 'Women Empowerment and Gender Equality' category

Former Tribune journalist, Rachna Khaira bagged the 'RedInk Journalist of the Year Award' for her far-reaching expose on the functioning of the Unique Identification Authority of Indian (UIDAI) and its Aadhar data cache, reported Outlook.

FP Staff June 29, 2019 12:23:38 IST
RedInk Awards 2019: Sonali Jain of Firstpost wins prize under 'Women Empowerment and Gender Equality' category
  • Sonali was conferred the award for her story on nomadic Kanjarbhat community, among whom a group of activists are leading a campaign against 'virginity tests'

  • Under The Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, the British labelled the Kanjarbhats as 'criminals' and the tribe itself was denotified post-Independence

  • Since then the Kanjarbhats have settled mostly in the urban and semi-urban areas of Maharashtra

  • However, the community still holds on to many of its old practices, including the virginity test

  • Attempting to change that mindset is a campaign called 'Stop The V-Ritual', spearheaded by Vivek Tamaichikar

The Mumbai Press Club has announced the winners of the prestigious National RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019 on 24 June. Promoting quality writing merged with high ethical standards among journalists, the RedInk Awards completed nine years now.

Over the years, the categories of awards have expanded, with the Mumbai Press Club bestowing the award under it's newly-added category of 'Women's Empowerment & Gender Equality' to Sonali Jain from Firstpost (video producer) this year  for her reportage on the humiliating practice of a mandatory virginity test for young brides in Kanjarbhat community.

The Kanjarbhats — also known as 'Sansi' or 'Kanjar' in North India — are a one-time nomadic community from Rajasthan.

RedInk Awards 2019 Sonali Jain of Firstpost wins prize under Women Empowerment and Gender Equality category

Trophies kept ready for the winners of RedInkAwards 2019. Twitter @mumbaipressclub

Since then the Kanjarbhats have settled mostly in the urban and semi-urban areas of Maharashtra. However, the community still holds on to many of its old practices — including the virginity test.

Jain covered the plight of women forced to face this regressive practice, which is now also outlawed in the state of Maharashtra. She also brought to the fore the story of a group of 50-odd changemakers from within the society, fighting to bring about a social change despite facing ostracisation and threats from their own community. The campaign called 'Stop The V-Ritual' is spearheaded by Vivek Tamaichikar, a member of the Kanjarbhat community, and a student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Tamaichikar resides in Ambernath, about 50 kilometres from Mumbai.

Read the full story here

Jyoti Shinoli of People's Archive of Rural India network also bagged the award under the'Women Empowerment & Gender Equality' category. Jain won the award under the TV category, while Shinoli was honoured for her contribution to print media.

Former Tribune journalist, Rachna Khaira bagged the 'RedInk Journalist of the Year Award' for her far-reaching expose on the functioning of the Unique Identification Authority of Indian (UIDAI) and its Aadhar data cache.

The RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement went to two retired senior journalists – former Maharashtra Times journalist, Dinu Ranadive, 94, and Mumbai Mirror former photo editor Sebastian D'Souza. Mid-Day's Ranjit Jadhav received the RedInk Star Mumbai Reporter Award. Adrija Bose of News18 emerged as the winner under the category of Environment (Print).

This year, a fresh category, 'Coverage of the Arts – both Fine Arts and Performing Arts' was introduced for recognizing excellence in journalism.

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