‘Khabar Lahariya- A product of Women, Media, and News Trust.’ That’s how these women from Uttar Pradesh describe their brain child. This eight page weekly local language newspaper literally translates to ‘News Wave’s, stirred up a storm in 2002 when they came out with their first ‘Bundeli’ edition. Run from the interiors of Chitrakoot and Banda their main objective is to reach out to nearby villages and provide them with ‘infotainment’.
Khabar Lahariya began as the only Bundeli newspaper in India and now has editions in Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Hindustani, and Bajjka with a readership of 80,000 per week across UP and Bihar. It is the only local language newspaper that covers news off the radar of mainstream media. It connects with its rural audiences with its unique local language content, rarely seen in printed form.
This newspaper is run by a group of rural women journalist belonging to marginalized communities from diverse castes, religion, and ethnicity. Most of these women have little or no formal education but in spite of that they write, edit, design, and illustrate for the newspaper and then even distribute it across the state, every week. Khabar Lahariya’s readers are daily wage earners, teachers, activists, farmers, and students in remote rural areas.
What started off with 6 women, now comprises of 40 journalists from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This women-only publication covers political news, local crime reports, social issues, and entertainment with a feminist perspective. They also have a website now where content is available in local dialects to read, watch, and even hear!
Khabar Lahariya specializes in presenting news which would otherwise go unheard, like exposing local scandals and instances of wife-beating. In 2004 they won the prestigious Chameli Devi Award for Women in Journalism and in 1009 where awarded the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize. This is not all, they have been felicitated with Laadli Media Award for gender sensitive reporting by UPCM Akhilesh Yadav, Amazing Indian Award by Times Now, along with Kaifi Azmi Award.
Social Samajwadi would like to salute the unbreakable spirit of women behind Khabar Lahariya and wishes them good luck for future.