Award for Frontline journalist

Print edition : November 10, 2017

Venkitesh Ramakrishnan receiving the award from Dr. M. Geetha. Veteran Gandhian Subba Rao is also seen.

VENKITESH RAMAKRISHNAN, Senior Associate Editor, Frontline, was awarded the Maja Koene Social Journalist award 2017 in Madurai on October 14. Instituted in 2000, the award honours “socially responsible journalists who have done a significant work in the field of awareness building in order to remove injustice and poverty”.

Apart from journalists, the Maja Koene awards are also presented to social activists as well as people and institutions working to promote the agenda of peace and non-violence in any part of the world. The awards, jointly instituted by the Centre for Experiencing Socio-Cultural Interaction (CESCI) Switzerland and CESCI-India, is in memory of the late Maja Koene, photojournalist and Gandhian social activist. The award citation stated that “Venkitesh Ramakrishnan has proved that journalism can influence local action and policies at State and national levels” and that “through his writings, he has brought attention to social movements that are taking up larger issues in the society”.

Other awardees in the journalist category were Sarvodaya Press Service, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Jayant Singh Tomar, a freelance journalist from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Awardees in the social activist category were Jugra village, Jharkhand, for its struggle against corporate mining and displacement; Plachimada village, Kerala, whose people carried out a victorious agitation against the depletion of water resources by Coca-Cola; P. Sekar, for empowerment of disabled people; and Shanmugaraja, people’s theatre activist. The Peace Prize was awarded to CICODEV, Senegal, Africa.

The awards were presented by the veteran Gandhian S.N. Subba Rao; S.C. Behar, former Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh and president CESCI; Anuradha Shankar, Additional DGP Madhya Pradesh; and Dr M. Geetha, Secretary in the government of Chhattisgarh.