“I believe journalism is the essence of democracy” Meera Devi
As part of the cycle “Expressions of Humanity. What kind of world do we want to live in”, Time For Equality and the Rotondes organize a screening of WRITING WITH FIRE – a prize-winning and oscar nominee documentary film by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh.
In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit (‘low caste’) women: Khabar Lahariya. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
Thirty-two-year-old Meera is investigating a brutal rape case and as the story unfolds, the endemic violence and complexities of being a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh are brought to the fore. Born into an impoverished Dalit family and married at 14, Meera went against her conservative culture to study and become a journalist with KL. In their fifteenth year of print, we see the paper deciding to increase their reach by shifting to digital news. Meera leads her team of 28 semi-literate, professionally trained reporters, to transform the newspaper into a regional digital news force. As her team experiences its first taste of digital democracy, their video stories on corruption, violence against women, broken roads and inadequate public healthcare begin to become popular, unsettling bigger news agencies that are run by men. In the film, we see this journey – fraught with threats, danger, hopes and sacrifice – through the eyes of our central protagonist Meera and her feisty protégé, Suneeta.
We inform participants of our events that they may appear on photographs taken during the event. These are intended to be published in the written or digit media posted by Time For Equality and the co-organisers.