Read Awardees Personal Accounts

'Women play a crucial role in ushering in change in their communities'
By Anuja Agrawal


'How did such a strong woman living in a nondescript corner of Manipur emerge as such a pillar of strength?'
By Anjulika Thingnam


'I was fed throughout my stay on the farm on homegrown vegetables plucked right before my eyes'
By Aparna Pallavi


'After a day in the saltpans, I can never again think of white as a "cool" colour'
By Geeta Seshu


'Despite the worry that another tsunami could strike, the people here are moving on'
By Hema Vijay


'Where is the rest of the rice? The question kept nagging me'
By Linda Chhakchhuak


'The lyrics acquire a personal meaning for the young boy singing so earnestly'
By Manipadma Jena


'Here I was before a woman who was resilient enough to emerge unscathed every time she was attacked'
By Manisha Prakash


'Seeing the scene I was transported back to the 70s and 80s, when the women's movement was blossoming'
By Nirupama Dutt


'If the women refuse to sell fish, the men would be at a loss'
By  Prakriiti Gupta


'They had not become politicians even though they held a political office'
By  Soma Mitra Mukherjee


'She may look like any other ordinary woman but her achievements are not ordinary' By  Shuriah Niazi

'What was even more amazing was that almost everyone stopped to greet her and touch her feet'
By Swapna Majumdar


'There was no false modesty or shame about displaying the use of a female condom'
By  Tarannum Manjul


'It is a swim upstream every day for these women'
By  Usha Turaga-Revelli


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THE CARE-WOMEN'S FEATURE SERVICE FELLOWSHIPS, 2008

It was an eventful summer for the 'Care-WFS Fellowships 2008' awardees. They have been reporting from far-flung locations across the country, the activities of amazing women who have fought adverse circumstances and social disempowerment in innovative and varied ways. These inspiring stories have been put out by Women's Feature Service and have appeared in innumerable newspapers, magazines and websites, both in India and internationally.

But what about the story behind their stories? Now read the personal accounts of the experiences of the writers themselves…

Anju AgrawalANUJA AGRAWAL A doctorate in sociology, Anuja is now a Reader at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi. She has also published a book, 'Chaste Wives and Prostitute Sisters' (Routledge India, 2008). A regular contributor to WFS, one of her pieces dealt incisively with how the Internet websites that promote matrimony are impacting on society.
Anjulika ThingnamANJULIKA THINGNAM An Imphal-based writer, who is conversant in Manipuri, Hindi and English, Anjulika is a regular contributor to the Women's Features Service. In one of her WFS pieces, 'Refugees in a Supermarket', she dealt very evocatively on what it is to be a Kuki refugee. She has also written many short stories, some of them for children, and has also translated several Manipuri short stories into English.
Aparna Pallavi APARNA PALLAVI Development, in all its many aspects, interests Aparna and this Nagpur-based journalist terms herself a "freelance development journalist". She has written at length on the problems faced by farmers' widows in Vidarbha and broke a story about how the Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh illegally evicted 1,500 tribal families in 2007. Her pieces have appeared regularly in the WFS network.
Geeta SeshuGEETA SESHU Mumbai-based Geeta was once principal correspondent of 'The Indian Express'. Today, she lectures on the media at several universities, including Bombay University, SNDT University, Marathwada University and Symbiosis. She was also the editor of the magazine, 'Humanscape'. She has written for WFS and one of her recent pieces dealt with a filmmaker's attempt to understand the life of her domestic help.
Hema VijayHEMA VIJAY A Masters in Zoology, Hema came into journalism and enjoyed the experience so much that she persisted with it. She has worked as a copy editor and reporter for the mainstream media, as well as contributed articles to major publications. She has been associated with WFS and has written several articles for it. One of these pieces described the transformation of a pavement dweller into an autorickshaw driver.
Linda ChhakchhuakLINDA CHHAKCHHUAK A Masters in Social Anthropology, Shillong-based Linda has worked in several English newspapers, and freelanced for several more and has been a regular contributor to WFS. One of her pieces dealt with how women from Mizoram land up in Mumbai after being promised jobs as beauticians, get trapped in the sex industry, and are too powerless to break free.
Manipadma JenaMANIPADMA JENA A communications consultant, Manipadma has written extensively on issues ranging from gender and nutrition to governance and the environment. She is the founder member and Orissa coordinator of the National Network for Women in Media, India. A regular contributor to WFS, one of her pieces highlighted how the proliferation of mobile ultrasound screening is adversely impacting Orissa's sex ratio.
Manisha PrakashMANISHA PRAKASH With a Masters in Mass Communication, Patna-based Manisha has covered both politics and developmental issues extensively. She has reported on both the Uttar Pradesh elections of 2002 and the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, and has worked in mainstream newspapers as well as in the electronic media. In her features for WFS, she has focused on Bihar and the innumerable ways in which the state is changing.
Nirupama DuttNIRUPAMA DUTT A litterateur in her own right, Nirupama has written extensively on Punjab politics, society and culture. Her book of poetry, 'Ik Nadi Sanwali Jahi', received the Punjabi Akademi award in 2000. As a journalist, she was the first to report on the infamous Gill-Bajaj case and spotted the trend of farmers' suicides in the state very early. A recent feature she did for WFS highlighted the plight of Punjab's "border widows".
Prakriti GuptaPRAKRIITI GUPTA Jammu-Tawi based Prakriiti, a science graduate with journalistic training, has worked as a stringer for several foreign publications as well as on the staff of national newspapers. She has also reported for television. A regular contributor to WFS, one of her pieces profiled Kashmir's women entrepreneurs and how they met the various challenges of a period marked by militancy.
Shuriah NiaziSHURIAH NIAZI The fact that he is the lone male in the fellowship list testifies to the great empathy Shuriah displays in covering gender concerns. A contributor to several TV channels and newspapers, both in India and abroad, he covers both political and business news, as well as social issues. His features have appeared regularly in WFS, one of them focusing on the boom in surrogacy services in Madhya Pradesh and its impact on women's lives.
SOMA MITRA MUKHERJEE With a post-graduate degree in Mass Communication, Kolkata-based Soma has covered several important stories for the media - and WFS in particular - on issues ranging from the Singur and Nandigram stand-offs to parliament and state elections. She has reported on the impact of the tsunami on the lives of the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and has interviewed important personalities in the news for both TV and the print media.
Swapana MajumdarSWAPNA MAJUMDAR A Delhi-based independent journalist, Swapna has been focusing on research-based articles on human development. She has contributed to several publications, both in India and abroad, and is the winner of the prestigious Dag Hammarskjold fellowship. Currently, she is a visiting faculty member of the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development and a regular contributor to WFS.
TrannumTARANNUM MANJUL One of Tarannum's stories on the increased trafficking of OBC girls in Uttar Pradesh forced the state government to order a high level probe into the trend. She was also been selected by the United National Office for Drugs and Crime as a media fellow for its global initiative to fight human trafficking in South Asia. Among recent stories that she did for WFS was one that highlighted the real life stories of the 'Chak De India' girls.
Usha Turaga-RevelliUSHA TURAGA-REVELLI A professional journalist, Usha has an MPhil in the sociology of communication. Her various assignments include a documentation of Andhra's largest poverty alleviation programme, the Indira Kranthi Patham. She has also written an interview-based book for the Female Condom Project of HLFPPT. Among the features she has done for WFS, was one on how some poor widows in Warangal turned themselves into prosperous farmers.


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