Woman of the Day – Meera Devi

Green Party Women Celebrating Women’s History Month Day 9: Woman of the Day, Meera Devi #ForWomenAndPlanet

In March 2022, The Movies that Matter Festival that screens films to stir the debate on human rights featured WRITING WITH FIRE, a documentary telling the story of Khabar Lahariya (‘waves of news’) and featuring our Woman of the Day Meera Devi.

Based in India and publishing since 2002, Khabar Lahariya’s all-women journalist team write, edit, produce, distribute, and market their newspaper in neighbouring villages and towns, mostly on foot. The newspaper has won multiple awards, including the UNESCO King Sejong Award for Literacy, in 2009.

Meera Devi joined Khabar Lahariya in 2006. Born to a homemaker mother and a labourer father, and married at 14, she never abandoned her desire to develop herself, despite becoming a mother whilst she was still in school.  She went on to complete her master’s degree in political science and got a degree in teaching before setting her sights on journalism.

Meera as a Dalit woman knew she would face opposition to her ambition as the Indian caste system excludes Dalits. However, much of the opposition came from within her own family and community. “When I started as a journalist, everyone objected” Meera said.

In 2016, Khabar Lahariya went digital. Khabar Lahariya is the only rural media channel run entirely by women from Dalit and Muslim communities and has an audience of over 10 million viewers across its platforms.

During 20 years of work, this inspiring team of women have supported communities, righted wrongs, challenged hierarchies and abuses of power, and built solidarity between marginalised people, especially women.

Khabar Lahariya has trained over 500 rural women journalists during the time it has been operating. You will meet three of them in WRITING WITH FIRE, Meera and her colleagues Suneeta and Shyamkali.

Nominated for an Oscar in 2022, WRITING WITH FIRE and can now be seen as part of the ‘Storyville’ documentary series, available on BBC iPlayer.

You can also follow Khabar Lahariya team by subscribing to their YouTube channel.



https://moviesthatmatter.nl Women’s History Month

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