‘Khabar Lahariya’: How few women made it possible?

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JanPratinidhi
JanPratinidhi

‘Khabar Lahariya’: How few women made it possible?


Articles / Society & Culture   /   Aug 19, 2015
samreen Jawaid
samreen Jawaid
She is a writer. She has done post-graduation in Lingustic from JNU. She likes writing news stories, blogs and articles. She also likes to analyze political and international events and write stories on them. She wishes to bring a change to the lives of women by attracting the attention of leaders as well as society at large through her articles. Truth is what she stands for.

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Khabar Lahariya, which translates to ‘News Wave’ brought with it an unprecedented rush in the lives of many. Besides, being run only by women this is the country’s first rural language weekly newspaper. And, no wonder it has managed to create a niche for itself while the big media houses are constantly at war with each other over generating news and catching people’s imagination by controversial headlines.

 

Khabar Lahariya exudes a revolutionary streak as the women behind its inception were mainly from lower strata of life coming from the rural parts of Bihar and UP with little or no exposure to literacy and information. KL has become a shriek of freedom for these women who are not only challenging the stereotype but also setting an example for other women to follow. It’s about innovation, courage and fighting stigma.

 

Started in the year 2002 by seven women, Khabar Lahariya was restricted to covering news only in Bundeli. However, as like-minded women came forward and got associated with it, the newspaper was expanded in Bhojpuri, Hindustani, Bajjika and Awadhi languages. Now it claims a readership of around 80,000 people across the region. Moreover, the tabloid is circulated in all the Hindi speaking states.

 

Why KL has survived perhaps is because it is not part of the newfangled media frenzy. These women reporters cover stories, which concerns them. And, perhaps this is why the tabloid has become an important part of those living in the village. They showcase stories of violence against women, issues of Dalits and many more such as health care, water condition in tubewells, schools and local crime incidents etc.

 

Besides gathering news, the women journalists are also responsible for editing, publishing and marketing of the newspaper. They also hold meetings to divide their beats. Sometimes these women are required to travel as far as 10 km for news reporting.

 

In 2008, the Khabar Lahariya group was registered as an independent organization, ‘Pahal’. They also have their own website: wwwkhabarlahariya.org.in

And Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/khabarlahariya

 

The women reporters of Khabar Lahariya have also received the prestigious Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Media person. Besides, three members of the group have received fellowships from the Dalit Foundation in 2004, for their coverage of issues related to the Dalit community. KL has also received Laadli Media Award besides various others.

 

Director Bishakha Datta has also made a documentary ‘Taaza Khabar’ on the not so easy journey of the women reporters of Khabar Lahariya.

 

(image courtesy: http://goo.gl/G6I8Ms)


The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi. The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi.
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