We, at PARI, are thrilled to share with you that Urvashi Sarkar, our 2016 fellow and a regular contributor, won the first prize for her story ‘Our houses are vanishing. Nobody cares’ at the 13th annual awards of the Press Institute of India (PII) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in New Delhi recently.
Her story is about villagers from Ghoramara island in the Sundarbans who have been migrating to neighbouring Sagar island because their homes are repeatedly washed away by the river and coastal erosion, flooding, cyclones, the loss of mangroves and the rise in sea levels. The villagers have received little help from the West Bengal state government.
Journalists like Disha Shetty, Anup Sharma, G. Sivaprasad, Rijo Joseph, Rinku Raj, Bibin Xavier, Jency Samuel, Nikhil Ghanekar, Prashant K. won awards for various categories. The PII-ICRC awards recognise and promote outstanding work by journalists in the field of humanitarian reporting. At the awards ceremony in Delhi on September 27, 2019, the chief guest Sonam Wangchuk, who is a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner and founder of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh, said: “We hear about wars among countries, but the impact of the war on nature is much worse. Today, a lot more people are dying in calamities that occur due to the changing environment.”
At PARI, we’ve been chronicling the stories of people dealing with the aftermath of the ‘war on nature’ or climate change here: https://ruralindiaonline.org/stories/categories/climate-change/. Three cheers to Urvashi and gang who are going out and recording these stories!