Scroll’s Vaishnavi Rathore on Friday won the first prize in the best article category at the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Press Institute of India Annual Awards 2023 for her story on migration driven by climate change.

The theme for the awards this year was “Stories of Resilience in Humanitarian Disasters: Responses and Challenges”.

Rathore’s article, titled “From Odisha to Kerala, a bus of climate migrants”, was published on May 10 as part of Common Ground, Scroll’s in-depth and investigative reporting project.

The article described the challenges of people from Odisha who first moved from a village named Satbhaya on the coast of the Bay of Bengal due to coastal erosion into a resettlement colony, and then to Kerala due to scant economic opportunities.

For the article, Rathore spoke to climate migrants who explained the struggles that relocated families in Odisha had to deal with. She also described her conversations with those who had gone to Kerala in search of work but longed to return to their native state.

The article noted that the Odisha coast has seen dramatic rises in sea levels in the past decades.

“A 2022 paper found that between 1966 and 2015, the sea level along Odisha’s coast rose 0.19 cm each year,” it said. “For Kendrapara district – in which Satbhaya falls – the study predicted that if the sea level rose by 1 metre in the future, it could submerge 29% of the district.”

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Last year, journalists Mridula Chari and Ishan Kukreti had won honours at the annual awards for their articles on climate change published on Scroll.

Chari won the third prize at the awards for her article “Battered by climate change, Central India’s forest products are disappearing”. In her article published in January last year, Chari had detailed how climate change has led to depletion of forest produce that is crucial to millions of people and a Rs 2 lakh crore economy.

Kukreti received a special mention for his article about the impact of climate change on dams. The article, “How climate change is making India’s big dams dangerous”, was published on March 23, 2022.