The IBN network gave away the first ever citizen journalist awards to honour those who “made an impact” by reporting on a cause close to their hearts.
Some of the awardees :
Prithvi Raj & Beena
Battling discrimination against an autistic child.
11-year-old Ahed was categorized as mentally ill by the security personnel at Bengaluru airport. According to them, he was not fit enough to board a flight. Ahed’s father Prithviraj, our Citizen Journalist, filmed the exchange. Notices were then issued to the CISF and to the Airports Authority of India for not allowing an autistic child to board an aircraft.
Suresh Prakash Agarwal
Freedom fighter waiting for pension
A freedom fighter takes on the authorities to get his pension after waiting for 30 long years.
RTI farmer’s suicide
Rakesh, 28 years old IT professional from Hyderabad, came from a rural background and found the increasing number of farmer suicides very disturbing. He filed RTI’s with the Andhra Pradesh government and followed up with the authorities to find out why the farmers were not being given compensation. Not only that, he traveled across rural Andhra Pradesh and caught cases on camera where compensation was either awaited or was given fraudulently. He confronted the collector of Mehboobnagar on the case of a farmer called Rajshekhar, whose death was not being acknowledged as a farmer suicide.
Battle against a bank account fraud for a dhobi in Noida
A Citizen Journalist and a lawyer, Reena Rao took up the cause of Rakesh, a dhobi in her society who was duped by the Noida branch of a leading bank. Reena did not end her battle till the money was back in Rakesh’s account.
Parents battle to get Paediatric surgery wing in RML functional
Parents of a child with congenital disorders, in need of surgery took on Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, a government hospital, in the capital after their child was refused treatment. They filed an RTI that revealed that both surgeons in the Pediatric Department on leave for over two years.
KULBIR SINGH WALIA
Lie exposed – exposing reliance energy’s negligence; high voltage electricity cables
High voltage electric cables laid by Reliance Energy in Mumbai, which should always be underground, lie all over the roads in some areas of Mumbai. Our citizen journalist Kulbir Singh Walia reported on the risks and took on the authorities.
Effluents polluting my city
Just outside the city of Chennai, is the Ambattur Municipality – Chennai’s industrial hub. Industrial effluents and a lot of untreated sewage water pumped from the urban and industrial areas run all along the railway tracks, into the fields and into the residential areas – making it impossible to live there. Gunasekar raised the issue and within a week the effluent flow into his residential area stopped. He continues to fight since the contaminants still seep into the water table in the area, making the drinking water unsafe.
Milk Adulteration in Mumbai
Homemaker Leena Pawar in Goregaon became a to bust the milk adulteration racket in Mumbai.
Fight for community toilets in Delhi
Vimla Devi has been trying to get adequate community toilet facilities for those who cannot afford to have toilets in their single room houses. With most of the community toilets either closed or non-functional in Kalyan Puri, Seelampur and Jafrabaad area, the decided to question the MCD. Her efforts finally paid off when in July this year the MCD got the toilets of Kalyanpuri renovated.
Subzi mandi in Dwarka
A housewife staying at Dwarka in Delhi, put up a fiery struggle against the DDA and the police to get a local vegetable market in her locality
Yamuna riverbed encroachment
Kapil Mishra reported on how the Government is undermining the importance of Yamuna riverbed and has subsequently encroached it. He showed how the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village, Akshardham Temple and the DMRC Metro railway projects are adversely affecting the river Yamuna. He not only raised the problem but also confronted the officials on the issue. He has sent several letters to high officials including President, Prime Minister, CM, Delhi and DDA officials etc. He continues to spread awareness among people living in the towns situated on the banks of Yamuna regarding the importance to protect the river.
GOVINDPURI DDA LAND REHABILITATION
Citizen Journalist Kanhaiya Lal is a resident of Govindpuri slum area of Delhi. Despite his limitations he has been fighting for resettlement of people of his locality for last 13 years. A scheme for the rehabilitation of the residents was passed by the DDA but after a lapse of more than a decade no work has been done. When little result came out of writing and meeting the officials he decided to file an RTI. The continues his battle for the rehabilitation of the residents of Govindpuri
Save Rani Bagh
Rani Bagh or the Byculla Zoo is a 53-acre green plot right in the heart of Mumbai. The BMC had proposed to revamp the zoo, cut down the trees and convert it into a 3D amusement park for children and night safaris. Our citizen journalist Katie Bagli started a signature campaign to save Rani Bagh and the BMC had to drop its plans.
The illegal chopping of the Mangroves in Mumbai disturbed Rajesh Vora and that’s when he decided to question the forest department. From getting the garbage cleared to letting the sea water enter the Mangroves to writing letters to the authorities, he has done it all. And still his seven year long battle to save Mangroves in the most of the cities continues.
Nita Shah, a wildlife scientist has been fighting to save vultures – world’s most powerful scavengers to help maintain the ecological balance. She fought to ban a drug administered to livestock, which if consumed by vultures proves fatal. Her efforts eventually paid off and she continues her awareness drive in places like Hapur where she tells farmers about the importance of vultures to the environment.
Vanishing ponds of Ghaziabad
Vanishing ponds in Ghaziabad became a matter of concern for Rajendra Tyagi when he got the land soil tested and found that the neighboring factories are polluting the ground water. He also discovered the discrepancies in the government records regarding the number of lakes in the city. He then went on to question the Ghaziabad Development Authority on the work done to restore the lakes. The authorities have given him assurance that adequate action will be taken to preserve the lakes in Ghaziabad.
MAHENDRA NATH CHATURVEDI
Save the Yamuna at Mathura
Mahendra Nath Chaturvedi, a priest by profession, from Mathura raises his concern about the polluted Yamuna and the dirty water that is supplied to them as safe drinking water. He partnered with CNN-IBN to get the Yamuna water tested for pollution levels.
Girish is fondly called the Bridge Man in this town near the coastal city of Mangalore. For him, it is a social movement to connect the people and their spirit bridging a bond. Girish, a mechanical engineer, is perhaps the only person in the country to build low-cost hanging bridges across the rivers in the Western Ghats. He has built over 80 hanging bridges in a span of two decades in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Girish uses local, eco-friendly material to build these cost-effective hanging bridges. People of the connecting villages assist him in building most of them using their own resources.
Clean and Green
80-year old Phillip Macwan used to lay railway tracks in South Africa. That meant cutting trees. He returned home to Ahmedabad to find his locality in a pitiable condition. He now plants trees and encourages community efforts to keep various Ahmedabad localities clean. Macwan’s next plan is to clean up and plant 500 trees on a neighbouring patch of land that falls under the Zoo authority of Ahmedabad.
Sameer Mehta, an IT professional in Hyderabad, passed through one jam packed traffic junction everyday. He decided to get off his car one day and fix the problem. He started the ‘Free the Left Lane Movement’ in Hyderabad with the handicam provided to him by CNN-IBN. He documented his efforts to make the autorickshaws park in a lane. Traffic jams in his area are few and far between now. Sameer also gets his colleagues to man the traffic and post blogs to create awareness about traffic issues.
Rajinder Johar met with an accident and suffered from quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs). He was paralysed chest down and has not been able to move from his bed since 15 years. He decided to provide sustenance to all those who were marginalised by society because of physical or mental handicaps. He started various activities such as: counseling, group activities, promotion of individual talents, cultural events, latest news on medical advancements and, in some cases, monetary help to all those who suffered any form of disability.
Sam Taraporewala, Prasanna Kumar Pincha & Kamalveer
Banking for the blind
Most of us have trouble keeping accounts, but banking can be particularly tough if you’re blind. Citizen Journalists Sam and Prasanna got tough with banking officials for providing better services for the visually challenged.
Visually impaired fights with state PSC
Visually impaired Neelesh Singh cleared the prelims of the Mahya Pradesh Public Service Commission thrice but was not called for an interview. He filed a case against the commission in the MP High Court and won.
All women’s channel in rural Bihar
This is the story of Aapan Samachar, an all women’s news network in Muzzafarpur, Bihar. These journalists work with minimum resources. The reporters, camerapersons and anchors…all move around on bicycles, armed with a low cost handycam, a tripod and a gun microphone. Their aim is to highlight problems being faced by women across the district, create awareness and bring out solutions.
Citizen Journalist Dinesh Gupta found that there were no bus services in Delhi that disabled people could use. He questioned the state transport minister Harun Yusuf on the plan to make DTC buses disabled-friendly. Within a month of Dinesh’s face-off with Harun Yusuf, such buses were plying all over Delhi.
Don’t use an LPG geyser
Ashok Mehta lost his son to an LPG-run geyser related accident. He decided to be a so he could create awareness about these little known geysers that can produce lethal carbon monoxide gas if not installed properly.
Javeed Ahmed Taq
In the year 1997 Javeed was encountered by militants and became handicapped but he did not surrender himself to the circumstances but felt the need to bring about a change in people’s life that have fallen prey to the militants. He wanted to empower all those who have been victims and are physically challenged. He runs a computer institute and also teaches Braille to the blind students.