7 December 2011


At an austere function celebrating Charkha’s Founder’s Day on December 07, 2011, also the birthday of its Founder, Sanjoy Ghose, young Ladakhi women were presented the Sanjoy Ghose Ladakh Women Writers Awards. Hon’ble Mr Justice Altamas Kabir was the Chief Guest who spoke eloquently about the value of reaching the remotest corners of India to bring justice that is truly meaningful: not just legal justice but also social and economic.

At a function held at the India International Centre, New Delhi, the Sanjoy Ghose Ladakh Women Writers Awards were given to Stanzin Saldon, Hajira Bano and Nilza Angmo, all aspiring writers from Leh District.

The applications were selected from a highest-ever tally of 18 applications by an eminent Jury comprising Ms Usha Rai (Convener, at left), Ms Pamela Philipose and Mr Umesh Anand. The awardees will now write six articles each on their chosen themes focusing on the changes in Ladakhi culture in view of the external influences and changing mindsets of the younger generation.

The Media Awards have been supported by Unniti Foundation-India which promotes capacity building initiatives at the grassroots for self-reliance, especially among women and children. Over the last few years, the Foundation has supported Charkha’s initiatives to draw out writings on development issues from J&K, which are increasingly finding space in the mainstream print media. The focus on Ladakh, shared Mr Shankar Ghose, President (right) in the last three years is to enable issues of this distant region to find space in the media and thus connect it with the mainstream in the country. 

The Chief Guest, Hon’ble Mr Justice Altamas Kabir (left), Judge of the Supreme Court of India, gave away the Awards. He spoke about the significance of a mechanism which draws out the thoughts of those who live in disadvantaged circumstances and provides them the information they need to better their lives themselves.

Sharing his experiences of traveling to the corners of the country in his role as Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), Justice Altamas Kabir highlighted the need to empower the common man with information, a mandate common to both Charkha and NALSA. He emphasized that access to justice, the mandate of NALSA, is not simply legal justice but also social justice.

Lauding the efforts of Sanjoy Ghose to improve the lives of the vulnerable people of Majuli who live in the fast eroding riverine island, he appreciated the role of Charkha which now carries forward Sanjoy’s mission.

A special momento was presented to Mr Hamraz of Budgam District, J&K by the Chief Guest, in appreciation of his selfless efforts to make the Charkha Initiative in Kupwara District successful. A group of rural writers, empowered with Communication and Information skills, now writes on development issues and has access to digital media using a computer and internet facility provided by Charkha in 2011.

[7 December 2010]
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