Mukesh Rajak, our Community Correspondent from Jharkhand, India helps end corruption in a school in his community and is given Youth Award.
In recognition of his excellent work in reporting on social injustices in his community for IndiaUnheard, Mukesh was this week personally handed the Youth Award by the Chief Minister of the State. He was one of 15 nominees and received the award that is given to only one person every year. The panel consisted of representatives from various NGOs who chose Mukesh because of his dedication to exposing issues on behalf of his community, and the change he has brought about through his videos. 5000 people attended the annual award ceremony held in Rachi, capital of Jharkhand on the 12th of January - national Youth Day. "I never felt like i would get something like this. It encourages me to do more and get more awards," Mukesh told us on the phone, laughing.
Even before Mukesh was officially recognised for his journalistic skill and activism, the people in his community had come to know him as 'the only reporter in Madhupur'. They would see him riding around on his bicycle and shooting with his camera. Especially after he was able to end corruption in a school in Jagadishpur by showing the Block Education Officer footage he had shot, word spread and Mukesh was approached by other villagers to report on various issues. "People in my village are starting to see how the media can change things. Earlier they didn't believe in it...they knew it existed, but it was something negative, outside of their lives. Now they are seeing the other side of it," said Mukesh.
In today's video, he tells us about another school that was being mismanaged in Kumargarhia. He went to investigate, the villagers were angrily shouting because their children are not being taught. He got the residents to sign a memo which he then took to the Block Education Officer, who stalled the salaries of four teachers. "I have grown up seeing all this corruption in schools and everywhere. I want to focus on exposing these things, because I don't want the younger generations to go through the same thing. "
Mukesh's phone has been ringing off the hook since he won. Reporters from both local and national dailies such as Prabhat Kabar, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan Times and Sanmarge have been calling him to find out more. Just this morning, he did an interview that will be broadcast on the local cable TV channel. "Everyone wants an interview. My family is very happy, my community is very happy. I am also very happy," he said.
to watch Mukesh's impact video.
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