Media advocacy connects the unheard voices of the rural marginalized to the district, state and national levels through Charkha’s unique development-oriented Trilingual Feature Service, in English, Hindi and Urdu.
Charkha encourages and guides rural youth and development writers to share the perspectives of marginalized communities through writings that are accurate, balanced and holistic. Received in any of the three languages, the writings are translated as appropriate and improved with editorial inputs for dissemination to several state and national newspapers, magazines and web portals for publication.
The objective is to present an accurate representation of ground realities, highlighting the quality of implementation of government initiatives to reduce social and economic exclusion. The authentic feedback from the people themselves enables the identification of opportunities for improvement that can be incorporated in the action plans of State-supported implementation agencies.
The Feature Service thus enables the disadvantaged people of rural India to speak of their development issues, challenges, problems and aspirations. Significantly, positive stories of development are encouraged that serve as valuable information on best practices for other marginalized groups facing similar problems elsewhere.
The Urdu feature service, launched on October 2, 2005, fulfilled a long-standing request from large sections of rural communities in different states across India, who were keen to express themselves in a language they were most comfortable with. It is the first –and only thus far – Urdu Feature Service of its kind in India, providing content on developmental issues to print and online media publications in Urdu.
Charkha periodically facilitates shared platforms for rural writers to interact with national/regional media representatives, in an effort to sensitize the mainstream media to grassroots issues and enable the rural writers to understand the various aspects of quality writing that meet the standard requirements for publication.