Meera Interview - Part 1
Cinematographer: Zulfiya Hamzaki
Duration: 00:25:20; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 359.832; Saturation: 0.064; Lightness: 0.565; Volume: 0.306; Cuts per Minute: 0.039
Summary: Meera is one of the senior journalists and editor of Khabar Lahariya. She joined the newspaper when it first started in 2002
and has been an integral part of it since then. She had earlier featured in the film Taaza Khabar (dir. Bishakha Datta), when she was a reporter for
Khabar Lahariya. In this interview, we see Meera's vast experience and expertise that she has developed over the years.
She elaborately speaks about Khabar Lahariya's expansion, training and mentoring the new district teams,
news impact stories, challenges and future plans.
Karwi, Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand
introduce, name, newspaper, 2002, Chitrakoot, edition, editor, Banda
Meera, one of Khabar Lahariya's senior journalists introduces herself with her name and how she has been with the newspaper since it started in 2002. She has taken care of the Chitrakoot edition. Now, she is the Editor of the newspaper and takes care of both the Chitrakoot and Banda districts.
changes, years, Khabar Lahariya, production, team, support, districts, train, journalists, reporting
Meera talks about the changes that has taken place over the years, since she joined Khabar Lahariya. One of the changes is that the work that she had to do in the past, such as production, is now taken care by others in her team. She also provides support to the other districts and trains the journalists in reporting.
home, help, individual, lives, role, reporter, purpose, women, marginalized, communities, journalism, work, writing, finalizing, computers, stories, relevant, information, issues, dalits, adivasis, priority
Meera says how she always considered Khabar Lahariya as her own home right from the beginning. Whether it's about helping the journalists in production or in their individual lives. In ten years, her role has also changed - from a reporter to now an Editor. Khabar Lahariya's main purpose was to bring women from marginalized communities into journalism. She stresses how Khabar Lahariya's journalists do all the work - right from getting stories to writing them, finalizing them and even using computers to complete their work. The kind of stories that go into the newspaper is also decided by the team - those that are relevant and give information, talk about issues of dalits and adivasis are given higher priority.
Banaras, goals, challenges, Pehel, organization, registered, 2008, support, Nirantar, independent, responsibility, supervise, new
Launching the Banaras edition was one of Meera's prime goals, though there were many challenges in making it happen. Meera moves on to talk about Pehel, an organization that they registered in September 2008, with the support of Nirantar (a center for gender and education based in Delhi that started Khabar Lahariya) so that Khabar Lahariya can work independently. The Chitrakoot and Banda editions are Pehel's responsibility. She supervises whatever work happens in Pehel. On being asked about how the name "Pehel" came about, Meera explains how "pehel" resonates with "new" and since they were embarking on something new, they decided to call it Pehel.
confidence, official, travel, foreign, country, present, rituals, pooja, stronger, improve, children, environment, education, support, husband, family, home, absence
Meera talks about how after joining Khabar Lahariya, many changes have occured in her life. She has gained a lot of self confidence and can speak to any official without fear. She also travelled to another country to present Khabar Lahariya's work. Earlier, she used to carry out rituals and poojas, but now she doesn't. The other major change is that she has become stronger and has improved her children's environment and education. She also has got a lot of support from her husband and family. She gives them full credit in having let her work without worry and taking care of home in her absence.
Bangkok, Thailand, presentation, passport, difficulties, documents, authorities, language, challenge, manage, practice, courage, response, questions, translate, Hindi, experience, Ahmedabad
In 2005, Meera had gone to Bangkok in Thailand where she made a presentation on Khabar Lahariya. At that time, she learnt what a passport is and faced many difficulties in getting it done, as several times there were no documents and the authorities were also not being very supportive. Once she reached Bangkok, another challenge she had to face was language, but since they had a few people from Nirantar accompany them, she managed. Meera proudly says how for the first time, she made a presentation in front of 200 people that too in a foreign country. After a lot of practice, she found the courage to speak in front of a large crowd and was delighted with the response as there were several questions which were translated to Hindi, and so she could answer. Meera then shares her experience of going to Ahmedabad, where she yet again made a presentation of Khabar Lahariya.
identity, unique, language, voice, dalit, stories, cover, women
Meera talks about what makes Khabar Lahariya's identity unique. Firstly, she feels its language. Then the fact that the newspaper gives space stories concerning dalits and adivasis - those stories which don't get a voice in other newspapers, Khabar Lahariya covers them. The last important identity is that it is a newspaper run only by women.
example, impact, change, school, close, education department, benefit, reopen
Meera gives a few examples of how Khabar Lahariya's news has impacted people and brought about change. Some of them include a story about a school which had remained closed for a long time and after the story was written in the newspaper, there was a change in the education department and many children benefitted from it as the many schools reopened and started running again. Hence Khabar Lahariya's efforts have positively impacted several people's lives.
expansion, Sitamarhi, Bihar, 2010, spread, districts, venture, afraid, fearless, handle, reporting
Meera gives a brief overview of how Khabar Lahariya has expanded. From just one edition in Chitrakoot, it expanded to Banda in 2006, Sitamarhi district (Bihar) in 2010 and will continue to spread across other districts. Moving on to how the journalists have grown over the years, Meera talks about how the journalists, from being afraid to venture out to the field are now fearless and can handle reporting on their own.
Technology has become an integral part of Khabar Lahariya's work. Journalists are trained in using computers and cameras. Meera very happily shares that she too, can now use a computer.
technology, integral, work, train, computers, camera