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Raksha Kumar is a multimedia journalist focusing on human rights, politics and social injustices. Since 2011, she has reported for The New York Times, BBC, Guardian, TIME, South China Morning Post, Foreign Policy, Scroll.in and The Hindu.
In March 2018, she was awarded the National Foundation for India Media Award for her reportage on land rights in India. In 2017, she was shortlisted for Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism. For her work on land conflicts in India, she was awarded the Chameli Devi Award for Outstanding Media Personality in 2016.
As a reporter, her focus areas are land and forest rights of the most vulnerable communities. However, since these issues cannot be looked at in isolation, Raksha found herself increasingly reporting on armed conflict around resource extraction in places like Chhattisgarh and Kashmir.
In 2015, she wrote, shot and directed a documentary film on Rationalists in Contemporary India. It was aired by India's public broadcaster, Doordarshan. The film has been screened in 29 locations across the country until now.
The same year, Raksha was selected as a Chevening Fellow by the University of Westminster to research on Hindu Right in the UK. This helped Raksha build on her post graduate dissertation which was on Hindu Fundamentalists in India.
With a Fulbright Scholarship for Leadership Development, she went to the Columbia University in New York City to pursue a Masters in Science. As a student, she was offered the Scripps Howard Fellowship to report from Israel and the West Bank. Since 2011, Raksha has reported from 11 countries across the world.
Raksha worked as an editor at NDTV, leading English news channel in India. She was the editorial head of a two-hour prime time news show, where she lead a team of about 20 junior journalists.
A graduate of Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, Raksha was a dedicated student and a passionate public speaker.
India houses one fifth of the world's population. To feed 1.3 billion people (approximately four times the population of the US), farmers in the country need many natural and man-made conditions to work in their favour. India's land holdings are getting smaller with each generation, soil is eroded, and rainfall is susceptible to climate change and global warming. In such situations, the farmers will turn to the government of the day to not just bail them out, but to also ensure the country's food security. This is at the crux of the recent farmers' march to Delhi. The podcast begins with four journalists sharing their experience of covering the long rally.
Then it tries to answer the following questions:Is the Indian media too urban and elite to understand the issues of the largely poor farmers? How does Indian media's coverage of these issues affect policy making?
Most importantly, how does the common man understand the plight of the farming community and empathise with the farmers?