A talk by Palagummi Sainath, Indian columnist, Founder Editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India, and author of the acclaimed book Everybody Loves a Good Drought in conversation with Geeta Anand, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who serves as dean and professor at Berkeley Journalism.
Sainath, former Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, writer and journalism teacher, has extensively written on rural India, his notable interests are poverty, structural inequities, caste discrimination and farmers protests. He is the 2007 winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s most prestigious prize. He has also won the World Media Summit Global Award for Excellence 2014, in Public Welfare reporting. He was the first reporter in the world to win Amnesty International’s Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in its inaugural year in 2000. Sainath has taught at journalism schools in India and abroad, mentoring students as well as training media professionals.
Sainath is perhaps the most influential voice in the public discourse on agriculture, in particular with his ground-breaking work on farmer suicides. Close to 300,000 impoverished Indian farmers — many driven by indebtedness — have taken their own lives in less than two decades since 1995. That is the largest wave of suicides in recorded history. Sainath was the journalist who first established the scale of the disaster, locating it within a larger — policy-driven — agrarian crisis afflicting the peasantry. In this, as in his previous work, Sainath sets the agenda for investigative rural reporting. The agrarian crisis series has seen more impact amongst lawmakers, courts and the reading public than any other work on the subject.
P. Sainath is the Founder Editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India. The archive is an outcome of his three decades-plus in journalism – including a quarter century of reporting from rural India. PARI aims to address the complete failure of the corporate media to cover two-thirds of the country’s population.
His book Everybody Loves a Good Drought (Penguin India, 1996), now in its 43rd print, was declared a Penguin Classic in January 2013. The book is being used in over a hundred universities in India and abroad. His photo archive of black and white images from rural India is being digitised. One part of that titled ‘Visible Work, Invisible Women’ is now on PARI as a fully curated online exhibition.
For more on Sainath see www.psainath.org.
SPONSORED BYInstitute for South Asia Studies, South Asian Journalist Association - UC Berkeley chapter
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