14th CSE Media Fellowships

Good news: Celebrating success stories in managing lives, livelihoods and the environment

This fellowship is supported by Jamsetji Tata Trust

Environmental reportage has evolved from being disaster reportage to much more; but truly heart-warming stories – good news, literally – are still a rarity. Bring us tales of people, places, programmes and policies that have helped make a difference.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had invited applications from journalists in India to research and highlight positive stories, efforts and initiatives taken for the public good.

Of total 29 complete applications, 12 fellows have been shortlisted by our jury members.

The fellows selected for the fellowships are :-


Aritra Bhattacharjee, independent journalist,
Hardnews, Mumbai,

Location: Maharashtra

Focus: Solar and wind power in Maharashtra: Policy, opportunities, issues and lacunae

With special emphasis on Dhule, and the projects in the districts.

a) Who are the sponsors of these projects, and who gets the power that is generated from RE projects?
b) probe allegation of land grabbing in Dule
c) What are the larger policy directions in the state as far as RE is concerned whom does such policy benefit
d) Are there instances of community-owned and operated RE projects? Does the policy allow for such initiatives?

Jury suggestions:
a) Look at conflicts between the wind developers and the tribals
b) and conflict between the wind farms and forest areas

Fellowship submission


Bharat Dogra, independent journalist,
Mainstream, New Delhi

Location: Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh

Focus: Combining mobilisation of the poor, land reforms and ecological regeneration

The stories will cover rural community initiatives mainly in Chitrakut and Banda districts

a) steps taken to help the poorest sections including land reforms for tribals and dalits.
b) taking forward these initiatives to contribute to water harvesting, small-scale irrigation , repair of traditional water sources and increased greenary

MK Pramila, reporter,
Deccan Chronicle,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Location: South India

Focus: Solar and wind in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

1. How solar loans empowered the villagers in Karnataka. Several school children who dropped out of schools are now back to their classes as they have got solar lights which have to be charged in their schools.
2. The tough fight between the government and private windmills agencies result in poor utilisation of wind energy in Tamil Nadu. The story would give a detailed picture on the potential in the state and solutions to tap the energy.
3. How far the solar city project proposed by the union new and renewable energy ministry would be effective for the public. Need to learn from experts and write stories.
4. Off shore energy models implemented in various small neighbourhoods in Tamil Nadu
5. Visit the waste-to-energy models in Karnataka and report about successful projects and drawbacks.

Jury Suggestion: Concentrate only on Tamil Nadu, especially the wind energy sector

Fellowship submission

Urmimala Bhattacharjee, senior correspondent,
Seven Sister's Post,
Guwahati, Assam

Location: Assam

Focus: North East

a) The Jatropha mix bag in Northeast – the positive and negative of this biodiesel
b) Is micro-hydel project the answer?
c) Assam villages no longer burn mid night oil, solar keeps them bright
d) Is decentralization of power in northeast the ultimate remedy?

Jury suggestions: Critically analyse Assam's off grid solar programme as it gets the highest amount of money from the Central Government.

Fellowship submission

K V Venkatasubramanian
, independent journalist
The Statesman
New Delhi

Location: Gujarat and Rajasthan

Focus: Alternate source of energy

a) Analyse the status of the ongoing solar projects in th 2 states.
b) Report about the progress in harvesting oceanic energy in Tamil Nadu
c) Case study on energy generated from tidal power project coming up in Durgaduani Creek, Sunderbans

Jury suggestion: look at the aspects of energy, economics, policy and social impact of the solar projects in the Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Fellowship submission


Nitin Yadav, chief sub editor,
Amar Ujala, Noida, NCR

a) Livelihood creation through organic farming – Meerut
b) Upliftment activities – case study in Allahabad
c) Youth leadership in HIV/AIDS awareness – case study Madarna, Bihar
d) Individual case studies of children welfare
e) Special prog to improve child mortality – Mandla district

Fellowship submission

Regional Languages


Rajanish Joshi, sub-editor,
Sakaal Solapur, Maharashtra

Location: Maharashtra

Good news stories from Maharashtra

a) Grain bank of Darphal, Solapur district
b) Sinnar (Nashik): A youth organisation revitalises traditional water network
c) Ashti (Solapur): Women of the village initiate group farming under the Vaibhavlaxmi Mahila Bachat Gat
d) Latur: Aple Ghar rehabilitates earthquake victims
e) The water bank of Ankoli (Solapur)



Mohan Maruti Maskar Patil, sub editor,
Lokmat, Satara, Maharashtra

Location: Maharashtra

Focus: Clean Energy

a) Appropriate Rural Techonology Institute (ARTI) created Sarai Cooker from the sugarcane left over by making coal from it in year 2002.
b) Report about Dahanu, Javhar and Shahapur, which are tribal talukas in
Thane, which use Community Cooking Stove, consequently saving lakhs of trees from being cut.
c) A Biogas in being run at Shirala and Walwa taluka in Sangli district, known as Shivurja Project. This is a first project in a country in which the farmers have
directly participated and are hoping to get Carbon Credits under the CDM scheme

Jury suggestion:
The jury has recommended that you do a detailed story on ARTI, and also look at other rural technology which are operational in the state. They would like you to look beyond this institution and concentrate on various other rural technologies which are aiding in power generation.
b) They would also like you to do case studies on various successful models on power generation.
c) The biogas studies was also highly recommended, and they would like you to report on the status of carbon credits, if they have been received etc.

Fellowship submission



Arup Shandilya, staff reporter,
Dainik Asam, Guwahati, Assam

Location: Assam

a) Conservation stories from forest reserves
b) Manas National Park: Once almost devastated by militancy, the park is seeing a comeback through the efforts of local villagers and ex-poachers and ex-militants.
c) Kuklung Reserve Forest: Local Bodo youth have set up an organisation to save the forest. Chakrasila wildlife sanctuary: Kokrajhar tribals are protecting this forest.
d) Kakoijana wildlife sanctuary

Fellowship submission



Reji Joseph, Staff reporter,
Rashtriya Deepika Daily, Kottayam, Kerala

Location: Wayanad

Focus: Rice farming in Wayanad

1. Analyse the improvement of life status among the tribals who are cultivating the rare varieties of rice.
2. Studies regarding the hereditary farming methods of tribals and preservation of seeds.
3. Expose the dedication and interest of the forest dwellers in the preservation of endangered species of rice.
4. Project the active participation of illiterate tribal women in rice farming
5. Study the general health condition of the agrarian tribal communities

Jury Suggestions: Do an additional story on NTFPs and whether any initiatives for their marketing has been taken, especially to benefit tribals.

Fellowship submission



Savad Rahman, senior sub-editor,
Madhayamam Daily, Kochi, Kerala

Focus: Solar energy, ground water resources, organic farming, and garbage management

1. Tilonia model utilization of solar energy and ground water
2. Mararikkulam against BT brinjal
3. Zero waste Kovalam project

Jury suggestions: Should also do a story on solid waste management – a lot of good work is happening there on it.

Fellowship submission



Suman Bhattacharya, independent reporter,
Shokal Bela Agartala, Tripura

Location: Tripura


a) Solar plant at inaccessible tribal hamlets - inevitable or wastage?
Taking 2/3 examples of the projects implemented both at rural areas and urban, in case of solar plant, street lighting and off-grid power supply, this may be examined the cost effectiveness, durability, wastage of money in the uses of the solar energy.
c) Biomass gasifier power points to waste of money
d) Future of hydroelectric plants in hilly areas of Tripura

Jury suggestion:

a) look at case studies on off grid solar projects both in rural and urban areas.
b) critically analyse a few projects under the off grid solar.

Fellowship submission