Vaishnavi Vittal, former staff journalist at Citizen Matters, has won the Laadli Media Award for the best Web Investigative report – "Government ignores us because we aren’t educated and rich". Citizen Matters ran the article in July 2010.
Population First, with the support of the UNFPA announced the winners of The Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity (Southern Region) 2011-12. The jury, which included highly esteemed members of the media, selected the winners from around 179 entries received from across southern India, comprising Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep and Puducherry.
The Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity highlight, acknowledge and celebrate the commendable efforts by various media at providing gender-just perspectives, portrayals and analysis. It aims to provide the media with a ‘gender lens’ for gender-sensitive reporting or advertising and promote gender sensitivity as an important professional value among the media persons. Launched in March 2007 in Mumbai, the focus of the awards was on mainstreaming gender into media as media has tremendous impact on moulding the mindsets of people.
Vaishnavi’s report was part of a series reporting on low-income citizens in Bengaluru, especially women, their aspirations, and their assessment of politics and government. "The government has ignored the poor because they are busy pleasing the rich", two teenage girls in Ulsoor told her for the story, referring to massive spending for road and transportation infrastructure in Bengaluru, and yet very little being done for the poor.
Upon receiving this award, Vaishnavi says, "As a journalist with just over four years of experience, an award like this is a motivator and gives a boost to someone who is still learning. I would like to thank Population First for recognising this effort. It definitely makes me want to do better work, especially focusing on gender issues."
Vaishnavi believes that the problem lies in people not talking much about this subject. "We read about it and write about it. But this is an area that needs to be given top priority and spoken about all the time," she adds.
Revathi Asokan, Programme manager at Population First, says, "We are happy that Vaishnavi is the recipient of our Laadli media Awards. It is people like her who write on gender issues and create awareness that helps the cause of girl child and encourage others too to take up this cause."
Some of the award winners are: B M Prathibha for best Human Interest story; Amutha Kannan for best human interest story; Akanksha Mehrotra for best investigative report; Stella Sunita Paul for best blog; Deepa Ranganathan for best web feature, and many more.
Besides this, on the recommendation of the jury, Padmashree Sugatha Kumari is being conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for her immense contribution to Malayalam literature and T V Chandran is also conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for his illustrious career as a much appreciated filmmaker from Kerala.⊕