Khabar Lahariya – Local News, Local Language

HERE ARE THE 5 Ws of a GRASSROOTS MEDIA REVOLUTION

WHAT

A rural newspaper run by local women brings together communities in the remotest villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
A rural newspaper run by local women brings together communities in the remotest villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Khabar Lahariya, (‘News Waves’) is an eight page weekly local language newspaper brought out by a collective of rural women journalists. With over 40 members, Khabar Lahariya team sells 6000 copies across 600 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to a readership of 80,000 per week. Khabar Lahariya began as the only Bundeli newspaper in India and now has editions in Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Hindustani and Bajjika. It is the only local language newspaper that covers news off the radar of mainstream media. It connects with its rural audiences with its unique local language content, rarely seen in printed form. Khabar Lahariya was conceptualized by a Delhi based NGO, Nirantar, a Centre for Gender and Education.

 

WHEN

2002 – Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh – First Bundeli Edition

2006 – Banda, Uttar Pradesh – Second Bundeli Edition

2010 – Sitamarhi, Bihar – First Bajjika Edition

2012 – Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh – Third Bundeli Edtion

2012 – Lucknow, Faizabad and Ambedkar Nagar- Awadhi and Hindustani edition

2012 – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh – First Bhojpuri Edition

2013 – Online Edition

 

WHERE

Khabar Lahariya has its roots in Bundelkhand, a region ridden with poverty, low literacy rates, skewed sex ratio, high gender and caste-based violence and poor health education and employment. In these areas, KL is a space for women journalists, in a context where there are none.

 

WHO

What began with 6 women in 1 district, is now a collective of 40 women from 2 states in North India
What began with 6 women in 1 district, is now a collective of 40 women from 2 states in North India

Khabar Lahariya is run by a collective of rural women journalists, most of them from marginalized communities- in terms of their caste, religion and ethnicity. Many are women who have has no or little access to formal education. This collective reports, writes, edits, designs, takes photographs and illustrates for the newspaper and then distributes it far and wide and the end of the week. Like its reporters, KL ‘s 80,000 readers are also those in media dark areas; daily wage earners, farmers, teachers, activists, panchayat administration, politicians and students in remote rural areas.

 

WHY

In a region where a large part of the population has little or no access to media, Khabar Lahariya is filling a widening gap
In a region where a large part of the population has little or no access to media, Khabar Lahariya is filling a widening gap

“This is a dacoit ridden area; no one comes here. But this is my beat, my readers are here and my news is here.” – Suneeta, 27, KL reporter, Naraini Block, Banda

Suneeta has been reporting from Bhagolan, a village in Naraini block of Banda district in Uttar Pradesh- a region mainstream newspapers rarely venture into. Bhagolan is largely inhabited by tribals, most of whom never went to school. Khabar Lahariya is the only newspaper they get and their only connection to the outside world.

Khabar Lahariya empowers poor rural populations to access rights and resources. KL plays the role of a media watchdog. To work towards this, Khabar Lahariya skills rural women to be agents of information production and dissemination.

 

RECOGNITION

2013 began with Khabar Lahariya being awarded the Amazing Indian Award by leading news channel Times NOW and Mahindra & Mahindra
2013 began with Khabar Lahariya being awarded the Amazing Indian Award by leading news channel Times NOW and Mahindra & Mahindra
In 2013, Khabar Lahariya was awarded the Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitive Reporting
In 2012, Khabar Lahariya was awarded the Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitive Reporting
Shalini Joshi accepted the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize on behalf of Khabar Lahariya in 2009
Shalini Joshi accepted the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize on behalf of Khabar Lahariya in 2009
In 2004, KL was awarded the prestigious Chameli Devi Jain Award
In 2004, KL was awarded the prestigious Chameli Devi Jain Award