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The Threat of The Diktat of Khap Panchayats in Haryana Has Earned Ankita Anand

 Ankita Anand


Sensitive portrayal of life for young women facing the threat of the diktat of khap panchayats in Haryana has earned Ankita Anand, a journalist-writer based here, the European Commissions prestigious Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for 2015 (Asia-Pacific). Travelling across the areas in Haryana where Khap bodies or caste councils had handed down fiats against women, she interviewed some of the Khap members and also talked to a cross-section of women, including prize-winning sports personalities, for their views on the pronouncements from kangaroo courts and the gender bias in society. Anands experience and efforts were contained in a write-up No Country for the New Woman was published in the summer number (April-June 2015) of the quarterly magazine The Equator Line, which centred on the theme of womens freedom in India.

Instituted by the European Commission, the 2015 edition of the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize was launched under the motto Todays stories can change our tomorrow, according to the Brussels-based secretariat. Anand, a regular contributor to The Equator Line, is one of the nine winners out of around 1,400 contestants from around the world. The award entails a trophy and a money prize of 5000 euros.

About The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize-It is organized by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development since 1992.It is awarded to journalists for outstanding reporting on development and poverty eradication.The Prize is divided into two distinct categories: amateur and professional journalism. An independent jury will identify one winner per category and per region.The Regions are Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe.Each winner of the prize will be granted 5000 Euros.The Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize of an additional 5000 Euros will be awarded to one of the winners.

About Ankita Anand- She holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Miranda House of Delhi University. She is an independent writer.Earlier, she worked as secretary for the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, a copy editor for Penguin Books India, and as a coordinator for the India Habitat Centre’s Indian Languages’ Festival.