Journalists highlighting the cause of gender sensitivity were recognised by UNFPA-Laadli
The UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity were recently held at FICCI auditorium. The awards recognised journalists from the print and electronic genre, for taking the fight for gender sensitivity in the media to the next strata. Fourteen journalists received the prestigious awards. The evening was presided over by Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA, and Kiran Walia, Delhi Minister of Health
The evening started on a melodic note with the Rainbow School Laadlis performing to the soul-stirring number “Aashaaein khule dil ki” choreographed by Longinus Fernandes, the renowned choreographer whose other works include the Oscar favourite Slumdog Millionaire.
The occasion saw the launch of a book, “Missing — Half the Story”, edited by Kalpana Sharma. The book showcases gender-related issues, biases, stereotypes and practices against women with figures to support its arguments.
Studies on gender issues have made disturbing revelations: in 2005-07 the sex ratio stood at 901 for every 1000 boys, while in states like Haryana and Rajasthan, the figures plunged to 900 and below. Haryana has been notorious for female infanticide and high female abortion rates, and giving it fierce competition is the state of Rajasthan. Depicting this plight of women was the ballet performance “Agni — the fire within” by Kiran Segal and a play excerpt performed by noted theatre artiste Lushin Dubey. The play portrayed the agony of women in an orthodox patriarchal society and touched issues such as molestation of the girl child and female infanticide.
Tara Sinha, a stalwart in the advertising world, received the UNFPA Lifetime Achievement Award. Tanya Chaitanya, editor, Femina, filmmaker Buddhadyan Mukherjee, TV show host Sharat Kumar and IBN 7 anchor Richa Anirudh received awards. The recipients had a plethora of tales to narrate.
Richa, host of the programme Zindagi Live, recounted the incident of Dr. Neetu Khurrana who dragged her husband to court under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act when he pressured her to abort the twin girls she was carrying. Richa received the award for the best topical programme.
Filmmaker Buddhadhyan Mukherjee, whose ad film Ring the Bell against domestic violence won the award in the Best Public Service Advertisement category, said, “The success of the clip lay in its sheer simplicity.”
The ad showed a man ringing the doorbell and asking for milk after hearing sounds of violence emanating from a flat.
Sharat Kumar won the award for the Best News Feature. His programme Wife Bazaar brought to light the horrific barter of married women in Rajasthan. Ratna Talukdar, whose web features highlighted the trafficking of women in the North East and the atrocities committed against them by the army, won an award in the same category.
Bobby Sista, Executive Trustee, Population First, and the man backing the entire show, said, “The idea behind the awards was to sensitise the media towards gender issues.” He commented, “The problem with government schemes is that it does not have a stringent implementing authority in place.”