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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Small village ‘Silani’ mirrors nation’s social inequalities

This week’s winner, Apeejay Stya University student Dhairya Kapur, admires Magsaysay winner, TV journalist Ravish Kumar and wants to be ‘the voice of the voiceless’

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For Dhairya Kapur, a second year student with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Apeejay Stya University (ASU), writing means challenging his thoughts and conveying a strong message to his readers. Born and brought up in Yamunanagar, Haryana, this  Apeejay student wrote his first piece when he was in class 3. Being a nature lover, the topic he penned down his thoughts on was nature and environment. Since then, the 20-year-old boy has written on several topics including sports, India’s rich cultural heritage, and more. In an interview, Dhairya explains his passion for ground reporting and his future aspirations. Edited excerpts:  

What inspired you to cover the village Silani and write this report – Small village ‘Silani’ mirrors nation’s social inequalities ?

A majority of the population in India lives in villages. Despite this, we rarely see or hear stories about villages. There are various problems like lack of education, limited food supply, child marriage and so on that are faced by villagers. However, these problems hardly get the limelight.  Silani is one such village. The people in this region are living in poverty. I could identify the extreme inequality that exists. There is a school but with no state-of-the-art  facilities available. I wanted people to know about this Silani, so that help is extended and the condition of the village can be improved.

What is it that interests you about ground reporting?

What interests me about reporting on the ground is that one can see the limpid transparent truth – the reality without any false narratives or propaganda. Interestingly, you get to make new bonds, see new places, know about different cultures and taste so many delicacies. Moreover, when you go and report from the ground, the people who share their problems with you put their hope in you. They feel that yes, someone is out there who will listen to us, who will raise the issue on our behalf. Their faith gets restored in democracy, and finally I get to be the voice of the voiceless.

For this report, you clicked the pictures as well. Do you like photography? 

No, I’m not that fond of photography, but yes at times I like taking random pictures.

What kind of topics do you like reading and writing about? 

I like reading and writing about mainstream issues such as education, health care, employment, economy, minorities, climate change, pollution, environment, and other social and political issues. Generally, I write one article every week.

Any writing inspiration?

For rural writing, I admire Shri P. Sainath, an extraordinary Indian journalist and writer who writes about rural India and its problems. I simply love his book Everybody Loves a Good Drought and I think it’s a must-read for all. I also admire TV journalist Ravish Kumar as he writes in an exceptionally simple way. He writes about issues of utmost importance in such ease, out of all his books ‘The Free Voice’ is my favourite. 

After graduation, what are your career plans?

I aspire to work with a national/mainstream news channel. As a broadcast journalist, I hope to become a primetime news anchor one day. It’s my dream to win the top-most awards in journalism for being the voice to the voiceless.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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