India Paper Taps Marginalized Women as Reporters

Three years ago Lakshmi Bhagel, a dishwasher earning about $2 a day, wandered through the doors of a newspaper she'd heard about from a friend. She was nervous, and though illiterate, she had reason to hope the editors might publish her story. Without hesitation the editors of Mahila Paksh--a weekly, family-run broadsheet in the central Indian city Gwalior--sat down and listened to Bhagel. They told her she could do more than talk to the editors: She could report her own story for the paper.