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Infochange Media Fellowships 2012

Congratulations to the three applicants who have been selected for the Infochange Media Fellowships 2012:

Agrima Bhasin

This research proposes to renew the debate around untouchability, caste-based discrimination and social inequity in urban India by understanding the everyday lives of ‘manual scavengers’ in Delhi. Agrima will look at the layered lives of manual scavengers through the following analytical lenses: generational; gender; economic; political-legal (relevant now with a new Bill titled Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation 2012 attempting to strengthen the 1993 Act); and institutional, including the role of the Indian Railways in sustaining this practice.

Agrima is a researcher who has an MPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Ditilekha Sharma

This proposal explores the night as a space that is seen as dangerous, inaccessible and dominated by men, and the women who have reclaimed the night and accessed this gendered space to attend one of Mumbai’s 150-odd night schools. What are the conditions that have allowed night schools to flourish in Mumbai? What is their history, back from the times when Jyotiba Phule and others instituted them to bring education to the marginalised? Who are the women who have negotiated familial and social opposition to attend these schools? What motivates them? How successfully do they negotiate this gendered space?
Ditilekha has an MA in Women’s Studies from TISS, and works at Masoom, an organisation which has brought her in touch with Mumbai’s night schools.

Aritra Bhattacharya

For his study of the contemporary use of tamasha, Ambedkarite jalsas and other forms of cultural resistance in Maharashtra. How have these movements raised class consciousness and expressed dissent? How are the activities of these cultural groups tied to direct political action, and why are these groups being increasingly targeted and suppressed by the state, who dubs them Maoists? The research will be conducted in urban and rural Maharashtra, including Narayangaon and Gadchiroli.

Aritra is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. He teaches at media colleges and is associated with the Jnanapravaha arts centre.

We will be in touch with the winners individually, and their research work will begin with immediate effect.

Thank you to everybody who applied for the fellowships this year. We regret our inability to get in touch with each of you individually.