Odisha Women In Media Celebrates Its 1st Foundation Day With ‘Unheard Voices From Grassroots’

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Women in Media (OWM), a platform for female professionals working in the media and related fields in Odisha, celebrated its first foundation day here on Monday.

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Journalist and social activist Patricia Mukhim, and filmmaker Deepa Adhikari graced the occasion as special guests. The event focused on the theme of ‘Unheard Voices: Stories from the Grassroots.’ Bhubaneswar Mayor Sulochana Das and State Commission for Women (SCW) chairperson Minati Behera attended the event as the chief guests.

President of OWM, Kasturi Ray, set the tone and agenda for the programme, chalking out the future.

The Mayor encouraged the OWM members to follow their passion and not to give up. A journalist before she joined politics, Das shared her story of her struggles and efforts in reporting. “Now, whenever I am in the field as a politician, I immediately know the problems and difficulties of the people. But, in both the fields, it is bouquets and brickbats – more of the latter.”

The SCW chairpersonspoke about the inspiration and inclusion of women in every sector. “When I joined the post, there were 12,000 cases related to women. Now, there are around 2200 cases only. Women in media have an important role in highlighting the cases which we sometimes tend not to see.”

Mukhim and Adhikari stressed the importance of giving women at the grassroots a voice through journalism. “Journalism requires a lot of passion and energy. Women journalists should show solidarity with one another. It’s important to stand with one another,” asserted Mukhim, who is also the editor of The Shillong Times.

Adhikari laid stress on developing listening skills. “It’s not that they are voiceless — there is no one to hear them. If we hear the unheard, we can do grassroots reporting with renewed energy. “We don’t talk about intellectual marginalisation, which prevents us from hearing the voices of the vulnerable.”

The OWM also gave away two awards in Odia and English journalism. Satarupa Samantray of Argus TV (Odia) and Aishwarya Mohanty, an Independent Journalist (English), bagged the awards in these categories. Around 170 members of OWM were present.

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