Former journalists Mridula Chari and Vinita Govindarajan have won the annual Ramnath Goenka journalism award for 2018 in the “environment, science and technology reporting” category. They won the award for a series they reported for in April 2018 about the failures of pesticide regulation in India.

Chari and Govindarajan received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at an event in New Delhi on Monday. This is the second straight year Chari has won the coveted journalism award – she had won the prize in the “on-the-spot reporting” category for 2017.

In the series on pesticide regulation, Chari and Govindarajan took an in-depth look at the abdication of responsibility by the government at every level, from the process of approving pesticides to the lack of periodic review, and the vacuum at the ground level where farmers are forced to rely on pesticide dealers for usage and safety information since government advisories are missing. The stories are here and here.

Read the stories here:

Lethal dose: Indian farmers are dying because the government is regulating pesticides poorly

Indian farmers spray a deadly cocktail of pesticides because government lacks staff to guide them

Eight terrifying things we found about pesticide regulation and use in India

According to the organisers, the Ramnath Goenka awards “aim to celebrate excellence in journalism, recognise courage and commitment and showcase outstanding contributions and individuals every year”. The award for “environment, science and technology reporting” is given for “exceptional contribution to public awareness and promoting understanding of environmental issues/science and technology”.