India Paper Taps Marginalized Women as Reporters


GWALIOR, India (WOMENSENEWS)–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.

Mahila Paksh–the name loosely translates to "Women’s Side" in Hindi–is the brainchild of Rupesh Shrivastava, a 51-year-old former bureau chief with a prominent Hindi-language newspaper.

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