INDIA. Mumbai: The 10th “Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity (Regional) 2018-2019” were announced by Population First, an NGO, in an event held in Mumbai, on Saturday.
Laadli means “a dear girl,” and the award was instituted in March 2007 to acknowledge, highlight, and celebrate the commendable efforts of print and electronic media (TV, Radio, and Web) and advertising agencies, to promote gender sensitivity as an integral part of their work. It started as a Mumbai-centric event and was subsequently taken to the national level.
Nearly 100 professionals awarded
Seventy-five media professionals received the award and eighteen received jury appreciation citations for their work. The winners represented different languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, and English. The winners were selected from the North, East, West, and South regions of India. The categories included news stories, features, investigative stories, articles, editorials, op-ed, columns, electronic, blog, and social media campaigns.
On this occasion, Chief guest Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), expressed her hope for the media to create an environment that will encourage women. “Media can help change the traditional mindset preferring a boy compared to a girl. All laws to help women are in place. We need the media’s help for a better implementation of these laws. That will only happen when the mindsets change and media can help with this change through its reporting and campaigns.”
Argentina Matavel Piccin, the Resident Representative for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in India and Country Director for Bhutan, said, “UNFPA India is proud to work with “Population First” to challenge stereotypes that perpetuate gender discrimination. We recognize the important role of the media in altering public perceptions around valuing women and girls and being champions of change. We are therefore delighted to support the 10th edition of the Laadli Awards for gender sensitivity”.
According to Dr A. L. Sharada, Director of Population First, “The Laadli Media Awards prove that even in the worst situations and cynical times there is hope. There is hope because there are many who are being true to their profession in journalism, showing great sensitivity and compassion, raising critical questions about gender inequalities, discrimination, and violence, and showing a mirror to our politicians and all of us. They are role models for many aspiring journalists and media persons. We honour them with pride.”
Multi percussionist and music composer Pandita Anuradha Pal, who breached the gender barrier and entered the male-dominated field of Tabla playing, enthralled the audience with a unique “Jugalbandi”, which means “entwined twins” in English. The duet can be either vocal or instrumental.
The jury, which included members of the media, academia, and social activists, selected 93 winners from 1.100 plus entries received from across the country.
The awaredees included:
- News Reporting: Jyoti Shelar (The Hindu) and Neha Sharma (The Times of India)
- Op-Ed: Sukanta Sarkar (“Ei Samay”)
- Featured: Rini Barman (scroll. in), Chitralekha Baruah (The Assam Tribune), Ravishankar Upadhyay (Prabhat Khabar), Saurabh Duggal (Hindustan Times)
- Investigative: Divya Goyal (The Indian Express)
- Topical: Vasanthi Hariprakash (“Youtube– pickle jar”)