Population First, with the support of the UNFPA, has announced the winners of the UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity (Western Region) 2009-10 at a function in Mumbai on December 9, 2009 This function precedes three others, which will be held in Hyderabad (Southern Region), Bhopal (Northern Region), Kolkata (Eastern Region) and culminates in a national awards ceremony in New Delhi.
The jury, which included highly esteemed members of the media, selected the winners from a number of entries received from across western India, comprising Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa.
The UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards aim 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. The objective is to make gender-sensitive reporting and advertising a popular industry norm.
Announcing the awards, Dr AL Sharada, Programme Director of Population First, said, “To make the campaign against sex selection a people’s movement, it is important that effective use is made of the power of mass media to influence the mindsets and behaviours of people. This involves engaging the media in introspecting about its own social commitments, eliciting communication support from the media for the movement and using new developments in the media – e-communities, SMS campaigns, and multi-media options – to create widespread youth participation in the initiatives to protect and promote the girl child.”
Launched in March 2007 in Mumbai, the first edition of the Awards felicitated gender sensitivity in journalism – both print and electronic – as well as in advertising. The focus was on mainstream media as it has tremendous impact on moulding the mindsets of people. The response of the advertising agencies has been particularly impressive with many new ads featuring the girl child in non-stereotypical roles. A number of TV serials have also been launched on the girl child.
The winners included Neha Bhayana, Hindustan Times, Mumbai; Ranjona Banerji, DNA, Mumbai; Preetu Nair, The Times of India, Goa; Anosh Malekar, www.infochangeindia.org, Pune; Jaago Gujarat: Save The Girl Child, The Times of India, Ahmedabad; Women Fight Back, Femina, Mumbai; Arati Kadam, Tanishka Magazine, Mumbai; Pragati Bankhele, Maharashtra Times, Mumbai; Shirish Khare, www.visfot.com, www.deshkaal.com; Mahindra Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan Patrika, Jaipur; Kanchan Srivastava, Navbharat Times, Mumbai; Jaago Behno Jaago Rajasthan Patrika, Jaipur; Raeesa Ansari Inquilab, Mumbai; Gatha Streeshaktichi All India Radio, Mumbai; Jyoti, NDTV Imagine, Mumbai; Sharat Kumar - Wife Bazaar AAJ TAK, Jaipur; Prajakta Dhulap - Haravlelya Muli, IBN Lokmat, Mumbai; Bharatiya Mahila Federation Thane; Vidya Bal Miloon Saryajani.
The jury of the awards included eminent members from respective field of media – Pradeep Guha; Preeti Vyas Giannetti; Priti J Nair; Rajesh Thawani, Editor and Publisher Gujarati Mid-Day; Ramesh Narayan, Founder, Canco Advertising; Chitra Palekar; Deepa Gahlot; Govind Nihalani; Kalpana Sharma; Kumar Ketkar; Nandini Sardesai; Prof Shafaat Khan; Vibhuti Patel; Vishwanath Sachdev; Prof Waman Kendre.