Khabar Lahariya is a weekly newspaper produced entirely by Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim and neo-literate women in UP and Bihar, reaching over 600 villages and 80,000 readers/week.It caters to one of the many media-dark zones of India.
Not all places in India feature on the media map of the country. There are numerous hamlets that are forced to anonymity without the spotlights of mainstream media. Khabar Lahariya reaches out to few such segments in North India.
What’s unique about Khabar Lahariya?
Khabar Lahariya is the first multi-edition local language rural newspaper run entirely by women most of them from marginalized communities. This collective, of about 40 women, reports, edits, takes photographs and distributes the weekly paper.
The team started out with seven women from Chitrakoot Karwi in 2002. Today more than 40 women as small teams of 6-8 women produce each of these six editions from Banda, Chitrakoot, Faizabad, Lucknow, Mahoba and Sitamarhi.
Khabar Lahariya was initially supported by Nirantar, a centre for gender and education in Delhi. Since 2008, the Khabar Lahariya group started taking greater charge of editorial processes and registered itself as an independent women’s collective called Pahal. It is also supported by The Women, Media and News Trust (WoMeN Trust)
Since its launch in 2002,Khabar Lahariya has changed not just the landscape of media, but also the landscapes of gender, caste, access to information, accountability and democracy.
By enabling women from the most marginalised communities to enter the well-guarded male preserve of the media, Khabar Lahariyahas challenged caste and gender norms in one of India’s most casteist and gender-biased regions. As these journalists have struggled for – and attained – identity, respect, recognition and a renewed sense of self, they have become role models for other women in their communities.
Additionally, by focussing on local issues it makes government authorities accountable to the villagers.
The untiring efforts of the Khabar Lahariya team has won them the deserved recognition. The have so far won the following awards:
2004 – Chameli Devi Jain Award
2009 – UNESCO King Sejong Prize for Literacy
2012 – Laadli Media Award for Gender-Sensitive Reporting
2013 – Times NOW Amazing Indians Award
2013 – Kaifi Azmi Award
2014 – Marico Innovation Award
You can help them win the Best of Online Activism Awards by voting here .