Follow the journalists of the Khabar Lahariya as they break stories and deliver justice to the underprivileged in southern India.
Prema, 25, sells the newspaper at a barber shop in Khurhand village, about 20 km from the township of Banda.
Photographer: Edwin Koo
They've Got Guts
Whatever Happened to Good Ol' Journalism?
The Champions of Khabar Lahariya
Sunita, 25, carries her 4-month-old baby to a production meeting at Khabar Lahariya office in Banda, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Whatever happened to good ol' journalism?
Dalit fishermen at Buragaon, a fishing village 5 km from Banda, form part of the readership of Khabar Lahariya.
(right) Prema, 25, and Kabita, 30, journalists from Khabar Lahariya, visit the villlage of Buragaon. They are planning a story on the neglect of the village after its gram pradhan (village head) was put behind bars for murder.
The fishing village of Buragaon has 400 Dalit families making a living on River Ken. Everyday, the fishermen work from 6pm to 5 the following morning, bringing back a maximum of 4 kg a person. Contractors who obtain licenses for River Ken exploit these fishermen by buying their catch at a stipulated 10 rupees per kg, and then reselling them for 100-150 rupees per kg. Kabita and Prema visit the village and break the story in Khabar Lahariya.
Prema and Kabita visit the villlage of Buragaon, for a story on the neglect of the village after its gram pradhan (village head) was put behind bars for murder. They also pick up news from villagers' grievances, such as Tulsaniya, 65, a landless woman who was denied a job card by the village pradhan.
At Khabar Lahariya's office, children are a common sight. Pryaka, 8 and Vandana, 5 entertain themselves in the office while their mother Meera, 24, is busy at work.
Prema, 25, writes her story in pencil on an A4-sized paper. Armed with an eraser and a sharpener, her endeavour reminds us of a schoolgirl taking her exams.
Khabar Lahariya office. Banda, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Readers of Khabar Lahariya at a bicycle repair shop in Bendaghat, 48 km from town of Banda.
A Dalit woman in Bendaghat covers her face after the camera was pointed at her.
Bendaghat, 48 km from the town of Banda.
A copy of Khabar Lahariya spotted at a mechanical workshop in Bendaghat, 48 km from the town of Banda.
Nazmeen, 21, is seen in the reflection of a pool of water in the muddy tracks. Khabar Lahariya reporters make daily runs to far-flung, poorly connected villages, to distribute newspapers and report stories.
Prema, 25, takes a tempo to Khurhand, about 20km from Banda to distribute newspapers. In about 3 hours, she sells 80 copies. She then takes a horsecart and changes to a tempo to go the village of Badokhr where she gathers news.
Distribution of the newspapers would take the women of Khabar Lahariya to villages such as Khurhand, where administrative neglect can clearly be seen in flooded roads and broken pipes. The up-close-and-personal sales strategy doubles as useful news collection mechanism, ensuring that reporters are always on the ground, talking to their readers and scrutinising their reporting environment.
A tuberculosis (TB) patient receives an injection at a clinic in Khurhand village, some 20 km away from the town of Banda. For a population of about 7,000, the area only has 2 qualified doctors and limited blood-testing facilities. In the far flung corners of Uttar Pradesh, TB is still a life-threatening disease, along with malaria and diarrhoea.
A food hawker picks up a copy of the Bundeli-language Khabar Lahariya in Khurhand village, some 20 km away from the town of Banda. In this remote corner of Uttar Pradesh, the 8-page rural newspaper is the only local language paper to reach it.
Prema, 25, takes notes after visiting a household in the village of Badokhr, about 20km from Banda. The reporters of Khabar Lahariya cover long distances in rickshaws, tempos, jeeps and horsecarts to reach their newsmakers in Banda district.
In Badokhr, Uttar Pradesh, women are still condemned to a life of early marriage, uncontrolled pregnancies and a lack of social status.
Meera, 24, and her husband Shivbaran, 30, rent a small room near the Khabar Lahariya office so that it's convenient to go to work. Meera is assistant editor while her husband is a distribution agent. When there is "no light", meaning power outage, the family uses candlelight to cook.