Media Campaigning for Development

Media campaigning is one of the reasons that made me want to join media. (I didn’t though, because I had learnt hard way that my body wasn’t able to cope with irregular work hours.)

Few months back, I read this news item in Hindustan Ttimes that said a local NGO had undertaken an initiative to educate villagers. The women who carried cow dung cakes were provided laptops so that they could teach their fellow villagers. I was impressed, I thought it was a beginning. I wanted to be a part of it, I wrote to the reporter whose email address was given at the end of the new copy to learn more about the NGO. But reply never came. 😦

That was the birth of my grouse with media that when they report something good-going, like a ray of light in development, there is not enough information for the reader to pursue and support it. Adding required information such as contact details of the NGO adds authenticity to the news report, this is more so important in the wake of era where case like Uma Khurana are booming aplenty.

I decided to find more such news that is reported in the news and add it on my blog. Here is a brief list:

1. Bal Vikas Bank: A bank that is managed, operated, and utilized by only street children. If you saw the movie Traffic Signal, you would realize how street children are made to part with their hard-earned money by bullies. This bank provides them an safe-keeping option for their money, which of course is not a huge amount yet all they own in the world. And the children who manahe it and keep the accounts should the responsibility with great aplomb. Working children all over the country want to be part of this programme, if you are interested you could contact this NGO here.

2. Salaam Balak Trust (SBT): Organizing walks for various reasons is a rage in the city. You can walk with Pradip Kishen to watch trees of Delhi, you could walk to watch monuments of Delhi in a group, and you can walk with Javed and Salim to watch how street children on New Delhi railwy station survive. Yes it’s true, there is such a walk. Javed and Salim who conduct this walk were street children before they were rescued years ago. The proceeds from it goes to educate the street child, an initiative by SBT. Ashwin Kumar’s internationally aclaimed short movie Little Terrorist’s hero was kid who was rehabilitated by this NGO. You can visit this site here and read more about case studies. Spending 250/- bucks for this walk is also considered good enough by this organization.

3. Sponser an Elderly: There are NGOs where you can pay for the monthly or yearly expenses of an elderly. The amount, as given in the news report, ranged from 7000/- to 24000/- a year. But for the elderly individual, his/her yearly expenses have been taken care of. The newspaper account said that most young were doing this, and the elderly who were sponsered bless them. There were some youngsters who took out time to spend with these elderly citizens to provide them emotional support. I searched and came up with two such organizations, click here and here. Contributing to these organizations also gets you tax rebate. 🙂

4. The Hunger Site/Breast Cancer/Child Health/Lieracy Site/Rain Forest/Animal Rescue: I have known this web site since I was in college. How it works is simple, you just need to click for each of these causes daily, and the sponser of the site will provide a cup of food/book/mammogram per click. So click this link daily. I had learnt of this site from a US news paper when several food packages were distributed in Somalia.

I read about success and case studies of each of these NGOs/organizations in newspapers and magazine. There are more, yet to be tapped. But it is late, I have got to sleep. I will be back with more, I promise.

Hope together we can make a difference!

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9 Responses to “Media Campaigning for Development”


  1. 1 rameshindiatimes September 9, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    I am from rural India and have worked with so many NGOs in various projects like ……… (add a few fancy names as usually named)

    Reality is miles away from what is being done and what appears in a news “item”.

    Poonam, this time I am taking the opportunity to quote myself…….:)

    “I hvn’t been left with much faith in tiny rural schemes vulnerable to political advantage”.

    I just can hope that above articles are true…….I wish they are……….

  2. 2 Poonam Sharma September 10, 2007 at 4:58 am

    Ramesh, I do not blame you for losing your faith…It has happened to most of the indians..but except the first example I gave, none of them are rural based. Bal vikas bank and SBT are based in Delhi…I have checked out SBT as they conduct those walks..but I will, if you insist, visit Bal Vikas Bank, Sponser an elderly is also helpage india intitiative…I had a friend working in BPo, who had dunnit….As for hungersite, I really don’t know they pay or not…but it only takes a click..I do it…in hope that I donate regualrly..Sometime faith is the only bird that can help you fly…

  3. 3 ish September 10, 2007 at 5:19 am

    I like the concept of the website on which you click and the money gets transferred for a good cause.

    When we can send SMS’s to save our favorite contestants, why not do this? It’ll do somebody else and even us much more good.

    You know the SMS’s we get which say that the person is suffering from some ailment and the telecom company has agreed that for every SMS sent, they will contribute some money. I used to contribute in the beginning but now there are so much of these messages that I don’t even think they’re authentic. What’s your take on the issue?

  4. 4 Poonam September 10, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Ish, you are right when you say that there might be many that are not authentic. But sometimes some channels run a campaign when a calamity strikes. Both IBN and NDTV have done that… but yes can;t say about authenticity of all the service provides if they donate…But I like the idea if carried out honestly..

    As for this web site it has been around for long..and I read abot is so many places..cudn’t be sham…There was a campaign motnhs ago that there were not enough clicks to distribute maamograms for breast cancer…it ws a newspaper reported and then an email campaign started..I have included this site as my bookmark…

    ut as Ramesh said, it is hard to lose faith sometimes, I remember there were sevaeral frauds who collected money in wake of relief fund for Kargil war…there is no dearth of innovative crooks in this country..so better to check out and then contribute..

  5. 5 Ashish September 10, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Money is not the only way to help, some require volunteers, which is what I give in reply to people who say they are not that well off to donate. 🙂 I like the SMS idea, problem is are operators [Airtel, Idea] going to be clean? I don’t imagine that corporates would give up money that easily….

    I like that walk thing. Should be carried out in a large scale all over… one of the most innovative ideas around. 🙂

  6. 6 kartick September 10, 2007 at 6:57 am

    Hii Poonam!! a really good one …
    have we ever thought that what is media all about …is it about making people aware of the facts in day to day life or is it just selling what people want!! i think now a days it has become the latter kind..
    ever wondered why a bomb explosion ..killings and terrorist brutuality capture the front page of our dailies!! bcoz panic is what we like ..we r becoming so obsessed with danger and the likes that we want to see them first…and the dialies r cashing in on the same…
    I never start my paper from the front i do it from the last page..but neway it doesnt matter..as it shows the temperment and the feeling of most of us…getting up in the morning n seeing blood faces in the front page really makes everyones day it seems!! but to tell u, this does have a impact in our day to day life which may not be so evident but will impact us directly or indirectly…
    Recently on the day of some blast reported in front page i read a article in the inner pages of TOI on the bottom left hand corner of 2 inches ,which i am sure no one would have noticed was an article on a school teacher in pune who has taken up the cause of teaching the children of prostitutes…This cause is the cause of humanity n mankind n not the bombings …
    I would have loved to read this story in the front page n wud have liked to contribute my time n money for such a cause but alas no further info was available…but is it really what other readers also want ??? i dont think so…We have become so pessimistic n horror driven that somehow down the line we have lost out all ur positive thinking to the negative news hungry dailies n news channels..and i am bound to believe that the way these people present themselves ,hard times are in store..
    Ever wondered why slots for ‘JURM AAJTAK’ ,’RED ALERT’& CRIMINAL ‘find so much popularity and are shown in prime time news…??
    something somewhere deep down is wrong with us..even then
    ” In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. ” so lets hope for the best..

  7. 7 Poonam Sharma September 11, 2007 at 4:48 am

    @Ashish: THat’s the best point of this issue. Volunteering. Every NGO can do with that. There are several NGOs who are looking out for people who can chip in weekends to teach slum/street children, provide emotional support to callers some of them kids who havnt done well in exam, women helpline, awareness campaigns and so on…

    And yes I do not trust service providers to donate. 😦

    @Kartick: That’s right, the crime show genre is very popular these days. Telly awards hav a special category for it. 😦

    But yes, everyday deep inside the newspaper, there is a good news. Yesterday’s paper had this happy news: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=64b38995-9329-41fa-b0ee-3c90b50cbe02

    Cheers! 🙂

  8. 8 Shalinee September 11, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Hey Poonam,

    You would be glad to know that I have been successful in getting in touch with the reporter of the article “Laptop women on mission education” you have linked in your blog. Here is the mail he has sent me:

    “Thanks for going through my reports.

    You may contact Munni Hansda who runs an NGO. Her contact number is: 094315-49287/ 09304849267

    Thanks again
    With regads
    Take care

    Brajesh”

  9. 9 Poonam Sharma September 11, 2007 at 9:31 am

    HEy, Shalinee thanks 🙂 You are always a help. I called them and dey do have a branch in delhi..wil update with details soon.


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