The power of rural reporting

When rural reporter Nazam Din Mir wrote the story of four siblings — aged three to 16 — who suffered serious disabilities after an unexploded bomb detonated where they were playing near their home in Noonabandi village, close to the Pakistan border in Poonch district, he did not realise the help he was rendering the family.

Shaheen, the eldest, lost an eye and one hand had to be amputated. Zaheen, 6, suffered extensive damage to her left eye. The family could not bear the medical expenses despite selling off agricultural land. But when Mir’s story appeared in English, Hindi and Urdu, the government and civil society got into action and provided medical help to the victims. Shaheen is now undergoing eye treatment and is determined to sit for her Class 10 exam. She also gets a disability pension.

Rural reporting had the same kind of effect yet again when young writer Basheer Ahmed Peer drew the attention of the world to the harrowing experience of the people of Shumaryal village in Kupwara who were daily forced to cross a makeshift bridge of tree logs and wooden planks.

During floods, crossing this bridge became that much riskier for school-going children, as well as the elderly population. Peer’s story spurred the State government to build a proper bridge, making life so much easier for the villagers...................Read more


Source web page: Business Line

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