At last a voice

Published: Friday 15 April 2005

Rural Poor O rissa

The problems, needs and experiences of rural people and the marginalised rarely find a voice in the mainstream national and local media. That's a common grouse of many. But few really take action to remedy matters. Among the few who do is the Bhubaneshwar, Orissa-based non-governmental organisation (ngo) Janvani Charitable Trust. In January this year the ngo launched a daily, Janavani (People's Voice). In the last three months of publication, this four-page daily has highlighted the problems of the rural poor, dalits and adivasis in Orissa's villages.

"Our focus is the development of those who are underdeveloped. They will be our target readers and will also be the source of news based on their problems and experiences," explains Professor Krushna Charan Behera, editor of Janavani. Priced at Re 1, Janavani 's aim is to establish its presence across the 50,000-odd villages of Orissa.

Says Dayanidhi Behera of Khandapada village, "The newspaper has not only provided information on issues about which we were unaware, but has also provided an opportunity to poor people across the state to voice their needs." "We also come to know about the problems faced by people in other parts of Orissa," says Susama Sahoo of Jagatsinghpur district.

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