Raipur 13 April 2022: UNICEF today honoured 13 media persons in Chhattisgarh for their exceptional reporting on children and women. The awardees include reporters, stringers, photo-journalists and camera persons in the print, television, radio and digital news platforms.
The awards, titled as ‘Media4Children awards’, are given by UNICEF in collaboration with CMSR Foundation, to promote and advocate child rights.
Presenting the awards, Mr Charandas Mahant, Speaker of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly said, “Media has an important role in disseminating life-saving information and in encouraging the public to access essential services. ‘Media4Children’ awards will promote the well-being of children and women in the state. I commend UNICEF’s work in nutrition, health and protection and assure my support to their efforts in the state” he added.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Chhattisgarh said there is strong evidence to show that media has helped to improve the well-being of children in Chhattisgarh. “Media has promoted child-friendly behaviours in families like exclusive breastfeeding for first six months, handwashing with soap, ensuring immunization of children and use of toilet by all. These practices in families will prevent child death, diseases, malnutrition and anaemia”, he said. Quoting examples of how media played a critical role in reducing child labour and child marriage, Mr Zachariah said that media can bring social change in families and communities that will improve the health, nutrition, education and protection of children. “Media can also bring issues relating to children at the centre stage of policy and decision,” he said.
The awards attracted more than 100 entries from across the state in 5 categories. The print media category included Hindi and English dailies. The entries were evaluated by a jury representing media, academia, government and civil society.
Syam Bandi, UNICEF Communication Specialist said that the Media Collective for Child Rights (MCCR), a collective of more than 600 reporters in Chhattisgarh has not only raised awareness of child rights but also strengthened the policy advocacy for children with policymakers, implementors and influencers resulting in concrete actions. “The awards are a token of appreciation and recognition for the media’s relentless support to child rights discourse in the state”, he added.
The awardees in the print media category are: Ezaj Kaiser (The New Indian Express), Rashmi Drolia (The Times of India), Amresh Jha (Pratah India), Ravikant Singh (Haribhumi), and Rajesh Prasad Gupta (Dainik Track CG).
In electronic media category, awards were given to Sunil Kumar Thakur, (DD News Web), Kunj Lal Sahu (Public App), and Janmenjay Sinha (ZEE TV, National).
Damini Banjare (Digital), and Rajkumar Shah (ETV, Network18) bagged awards in digital media category, while Nasrin Ashrfi (Sehmat, News Portal), Rupesh Kumar Yadav (The Hitvada), and Ankit Mishra (The Pioneer, English) won awards for photography.
The award includes a citation and a cash prize.
Stories of Rashmi of Times of India highlighted the importance of reopening schools in Naxalite-affected areas of Bastar division and violence against children and women. Ejaz’s stories on health initiatives like ‘Haat Bazaar yojana’ in the state highlighted the efforts of the government to ensure equitable access to health care and the impact of COVID on women and children. Amresh of Prathah India wrote on child labour and efforts to ensure learning of children in Kariya Konta village. Photographs by Ankit Mishra, Rupesh Kumat Yadav and Nasreen Ashrafee of children are commendable.
Mr Himanshu Dwivedi, Editor-in-Chief, Haribhoomi and INH Channel, Mr Gurucharan Singh Hora, Chairman, Grand Vision, Mr Subhash Dhuppad, Chairman, Raipur Development Authority and Mr Namit Jain, Managing Director, News 24 were also present and congratulated the award winners.