These community reporters are changing India one story at a time!

by FreeDem

Faridabad, India
160,000Funding Goal
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We know the mainstream media does not give you the picture of what’s happening in the hinterland. And perhaps that’s why our cities fail to understand what’s going on in the rest of the country, and struggle to understand the perspective of marginalised groups and their realities.
But these community reporters are going to change that! The FREE/DEM initiative will curate and publish reports by these local and independent journalists, which will be shared with the mainstream media. But all this can only happen when we offer our support. Contribute now!

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Faridabad, India
10 Projects | 0 loved projects

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The popular belief is that India is developing; but India is more than just a few metro cities. There are many who are getting left out of this ‘development’ – particularly minority communities, women and those from marginalised communities and classes. The mainstream media do not cover the impact of  development and policymaking on the lives and realities of these groups.
The FREE/DEM initiative – short for ‘Freedom & Democracy’ – is an intervention to cultivate a culture of listening and create an informed discourse on the issues. To counter fake news and imbalances in information flows, it aims to groom and strengthen credible sources of reliable reliable and relevant information at the grassroots.
The FREE/DEM initiative has helped a group of local reporters passionate about their communities and their rights come together; conducted a basic training on journalism and storytelling with them; and is publishing their stories on the online platform Their stories are stories from their communities. Undiluted. Unvarnished. Direct from the grassroots.

The issues they have reported on cover marginalized women; tribal and indigenous communities; Muslim communities; the state of education in rural India; urban slums; disaster and environment; narratives of change and resistance at the grassroots; the preservation of cultural heritages and practices; indigenous knowledge  systems; and accountability in local governance.

We are raising funds to support them and enable these local reporters to continue their work. We aim to support six reporters each month to report stories from their communities.

When you support FREE/DEM, you support independent community-based journalism, and enable and empower marginalized grassroots voices.

About the FREE/DEM Reporters:

Radha Shukla has been the station manager at community radio station Waqt ki Awaaz in Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh, for the past 5 years. A key force behind the setting up of the station, her area of work covers many issues relating to intersectional feminism. Through her work she helps the women in her area voice their issues – and their narratives of domestic and sexual violence.

Jagroop has extensive experience working in radio; and currently works with Radio Bundelkhand, a community radio station based in Orchha, near Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh. His interest lies in covering the culture and lifestyle of the people in his region. He is also keen on presenting their problems to a larger audience.

Noratmal is an activist from Rajasthan, and has been closelt associated with the Right to Information(RTI) movement. He works with Radio Tilonia, a community radio station, as a station manager. As a reporter, his larger area of work is establishing accountability in local governance – and empowering communities to gain their rights and entitlements.
Narmada hails from Chhattisgarh, and has been working as a correspondent since his early teens. Currently a correspondent with CG-Net Swara, he is currently working with CG-Net on using an innovative web-platform-cum-mobile based process to disseminate local information and news. Narmada hopes to use FREE/DEM as a platform to document the life of adivasi communities, their cultural practices and the issues faced by them.

Mufeed is a farmer based in Nuh, Haryana. An avid radio listener, he was initially a keen follower of community radio Alfaz-e-Mewat, a local CR station, before being a community reporter with the same channel. Mufeed aims to document stories of the oppression faced by the cross regional brides who move into Nuh district after marrying into the community.

Rahul works for the community radio Chanderi Ki Awaaz, a community radio station run by the weavers of Chanderi, a handloom center in Madhya Pradesh famous for its sarees. He also writes for a regional newspaper. Rahul reports on the state of education; and on Chanderi art and heritage.
Dhrupad is an aspiring photographer and a poet from Ahmedabad. He currently works with Radio Nazariya, a youth driven community radio station in that city. He is promoting arts as a means of self expression among the youth of Ahmedabad. Dhrupad’s area of focus for reporting is on cultural exchanges, and their role in peace building.
Xavier is a community reporter and a human rights activist based in Jharkhand. He covers a range of issues from MNREGA, education and, women and child rights. He is associated with Video Volunteers, as part of which he makes videos on human rights and the impact of inequitable development.
Vinod has been associated with Radio Madhuban, a community radio station based in Mt.Abu, Rajasthan. Having grown up in an Adivasi community, Vinod understands the issues and conflicts faced by its members very well. He reports on the issues of development in the tribal region in Rajasthan. He aims to influence the law-making and policies related to tribal communities – and wants
to make them inclusive and responsive to the needs of his community.
Shivaji works with Manndeshi Tarang Vahini community radio as their Program Director. “My community members might not be literate, but they have interesting stories to tell!” says Shivaji. His interests lie in highlighting the inspirational and interesting stories of ordinary people in Mhaswad, near Satara, where the station is based.




Name Donate Amount Date
Venu Arora 1,000 October 25, 2017