Scroll.in’s Priyanka Vora won the Laadli Media Award on Friday for the best investigative story in English in the country’s western region. Vora also won a jury appreciation certificate for a story on uterine transplant in India, while Scroll.in’s Aarefa Johari won a jury appreciation certificate for her story on gender disparities in Gujarat.
Priyanka Vora, who covers health, won the award for her story on the death of a 25-year-old woman in 2017 in Maharashtra’s Sangli town, allegedly while undergoing an abortion of a female foetus at a clinic.
The police investigation revealed that the woman had undergone an illegal abortion at a hospital run by a homeopath not legally permitted to conduct abortions. She had allegedly had a sex determination test at the clinic of another homeopath in Karnataka’s Belagavi. Thirteen people including the woman’s husband and three doctors from Maharashtra and Karnataka were arrested for running what police officials are calling an inter-state abortion racket.
Vora also won a jury appreciation certificate for her stories on uterine transplants in India and the lack of specific rules for such transplants that are still considered experimental and elective and are not life-saving.
Aarefa Johari’s “The backstory: On the poll trail, searching for Gujarat’s missing young women” won a jury appreciation certificate. The story was part of a series on Gujarat’s first-time voters during the Gujarat Assembly elections in December 2017.
Johari interviewed young men and women from various communities on their political views for a series of reports on Gujarat’s under-22 generation: first-time voters who had been born during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 22-year reign and had never seen any other party in power in the state.
During a week-long tour of five districts in Saurashtra and Kutch, Johari found that talking to young rural women about politics or their daily lives was proving to be an impossible task, while most men in the same age group had strong views on Gujarat’s politics and development.
In the Banni grasslands, the only females visible in public spaces were little girls playing and older women busy with chores, revealing gender-based exclusion.
The Laadli Media Awards was instituted in 2007 by Population First, a nonprofit supported by the United Nations Population Fund. The awards honour, recognise and celebrate the efforts of those in media and advertising who highlight gender concerns.
Read Aarefa Johari’s series on Gujarat’s first-time voters here.