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Shoma Chatterji wins Laadli Media Award for Consistent Reporting on Films From a Gender Perspective


The senior journalist is the latest winner of the award instituted by the Laadli Foundation in 2007.

Our Correspondent

Dr Shoma A Chatterji has been awarded the Laadli Special Award for Consistent Reporting on Films from a Gender Perspective. Chatterji is a National Award winning film journalist and has been on the jury of several national and international festivals. 

The Laadli Media Awards seeks to honour the efforts of individuals in media and advertising who highlight pressing gender concerns. Launched in 2007, the felicitation of five major awards every year has been an annual event. 

The award ceremony on 12 October 2018, saw Chatterji joined by renowned Indian classical vocalist, Prabha Atre who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to music. Madam Coomi Wadia, famed choir conductor, was presented with the Laadli Of The Century Award. The late Kalpana Lajmi, producer, director and screenwriter, was posthumously presented with the Woman Behind The Screen Award. 

Thanking the Laadli trust for the award, Shoma Chatterji said, "I have won this award some years ago but only at the regional level (West Bengal) but this is really, really different. I am really happy to underline that organizations like Laadli/Population First have made it possible to strip journalism from its oft-rumored mercenary tendencies, true or otherwise. I have won ten awards till date for my writing as a journalist and some of them are lifetime achievement but I must say that I cherish this the most right now because it covers the whole of South-East Asia, I guess."

Adding that she regretted not being able to collect the award personally owing to an illness, Chatterji praised the organisation saying, "I have  been indirectly but ideologically associated with Laadli and Population First from its very inception and have loved its honest, forthright, low-key approach to young girls from less privileged classes from the beginning. For example, the organizers and volunteers would round up girls from red light areas and convince media experts to train them in filmmaking. This is just one minor effort on their part."

She further stated that the writing on women has 'sharpened over the years'. "I think the writing on women, gender taken democratically to include both men and women has sharpened over the years and some very observant critics lie Ramanathan are proving it everyday. Writing on cinema, whether with a woman's point of view or otherwise, has certainly changed for the better and I am happy to be a part of this change for 40 long years," Chatterji stated.   

The awardees were selected from a list of 1,700 entries in 2018 from across various public domains. 

Veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta was the chief guest on the occasion, with musician Joi Barua performing live.