Mumbai: Gender-sensitive media campaigns by not so-called mainstream media- be they blogs on mental disability, podcasts on sexual reproductive health for ragpickers or a transgender startup YouTube channel on busting myths on lives of Transgender persons- were awarded at the annual South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2017, popularly known as Laadli Media Awards, spearheaded by Population First.
Thirty-three awards were presented in different categories- including three international awards- to media professionals who have displayed exemplary sensitivity in reporting on gender issues, in the presence of Shekhar Gupta, who was the chief guest at the event.
“Laadli is doing a wonderful job since last 16 years creating a platform to showcase gender sensitive reporting and its contribution is highly rewarding. In 1977, very few women were there in media and journalism but these days it’s about eight women to two men. This is a big change which has come around. They are there because they are good not as a favour from anyone.
‘#MeToo’ is an important campaign. In work places, sexual harassment is used to leverage power over someone which is wrong. We should learn to respect women as adults. The campaign is also an opportunity to bring about a power balance in social and professional equations and in society,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rachna Mudraboyina, the founder of Transvision, a Transgender startup, shared: “Aa Ee Anjali, a YouTube channel from Telangana, is raising sensitivity towards transgender persons in the country by providing correct information about the transgender community by initiating a dialogue to reduce the whole perception of the transgender persons in the country. This award is very special as it boosts the morale of all the communities who need a voice. We want to reach to a wider audience and looking at funding from corporates.”
Another non-conventional media vehicle that won an award was Pocketshalla, for its Podcast, which is working on sexual reproduction and health issues for teenage girls in rural villages.
“From a mere 100 entries in 2007 to more than 1700 entries in 2018, Laadli Media Awards have come a long way in acknowledging the media’s contribution in women empowerment and gender issues. The increasing volume of discussion in public domain on gender issues is an indication that we are witnessing the beginnings of change,” said Dr A L Sharada, Director, Population First.
The highlight this year was the Laadli of the Century award which was presented to Coomi Wadia, the veteran and famous woman Choir Conductor of India. “This is the first award ever I received in my own country though I received many awards abroad and I am very happy to receive it for my 50 years contribution to performing choir globally,” she said.
The Woman behind the Screen Award was posthumously awarded to Kalpana Lajmi for her contribution to Indian Cinema and for her courage to make meaningful women-oriented films. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr Prabha Atre, renowned Indian Classical Vocalist from Kirana Gharana, for her contributions to the field of music.
These awards on gender sensitivity have crossed borders by inviting entries from South Asian nations with the support of the International Advertising Association (IAA). This year, the awards did receive entries from Mauritius, Nepal, and Pakistan. South Asia Laadli Media Awards felicitated Himanshu Devi Marchurchand from Mauritius, who has been consistently covering issues related to gender equality, poverty, politics and the repercussions of latest international developments, Tooba Masood from Pakistan, who has been passionately writing on women related stories for the past 3 years, and Durga Karki from Nepal, who has produced a radio show on gender-related issues in Radio Sagarmatha.
Among the winners are:
– South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2017 for the category ‘Best Advertisement – Grand Prix’ was given to Lowe Lintas’ ‘#EveryWomansRight- an initiative by Astral Pipes’ on building toilets for rural women.
– South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2017 for the category ‘Best Advertisement – CSR’ went to FCB India for ‘Sindoor Khela’ – a social media campaign on gender equality in the traditional festivities.
– South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2017 for the category ‘Best Advertisement – Product’ was received by The Womb’s – ‘Saregama Carvaan – The Perfect Gift for Your Mother’.
– South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2017 for the category ‘Best Advertisement – Service’ was given to Coverfox.com’s ‘Cover Karo, Kaam Aayega’, featuring Taapsee Pannu.
– South Asia Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2017 for the category ‘Best Advertisement – Corporate’ had gone to Ceat Tyre’s – ‘#ThingsThatHappenAtWork – Gender Bias’.
The jury for the South Asia Laadli Media Awards included editors, writers, advertising and media professionals like K. V. Sridhar, Deepa Gahlot, Sathya Saran, ParmeshShahani, Dolly Thakore, Meena Menon, Toral Shah, JerooMulla, Pia Benegal, S. V. Sista and Mohammed Khan.