Cassian Baliarsingh

Odisha’s leading media house, Odisha Television Limited (OTV) won big at the 13th Edition of the Laadli Media & Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity-2023, organised in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

OTV’s Pragnya Bharati Choudhury and cameraperson Jyotshna Rani Dalai were conferred with the award for their ground reporting on the need for sanitary pads for menstruating women in flood-affected regions.

Also read: Odisha flood: Without sanitary pads, girls & women in marooned villages experience inexpressible hardship

Out of 857 entries in 13 languages across the nation, OTV’s Pragnya and Jyotshna scripted history by winning the award that commits to fostering gender sensitivity in media and advancing the vision of a more gender-just and equitable society.

“OTV gave us an opportunity to understand the challenges faced by menstruating women in flood-affected regions. We were shocked to hear heart-wrenching stories of young girls and women. Even as the government made arrangements for dry food in flood-affected regions, no one cared for the plight of the menstruating women,” said Pragnya.

“OTV brought to the fore the plight of these women and Odisha government immediately distributed sanitary pads in the flood-hit areas. Today, Laadli Media Awards has honoured us for our work and encouraged us to do better in the future,” she added.

Also read: OTV Impact: Odisha SRC orders distribution of free sanitary pads in 10 flood-hit districts 

Echoing similar views, Jyotshna said, “I’m grateful to OTV for believing in us and sending us to understand the plights of women in flood-hit areas. The channel also religiously aired the plight of menstruating women, forcing the Odisha government to take steps in distributing the sanitary pads.”

“Today, Laadli Media Awards has recognized our work and we are grateful,” she added.

Worth mentioning, OTV had telecast a report on how menstruating girls/women of flood-affected Santras village under Gop block in Puri district were suffering due to lack of access to sanitary pads. Hours after OTV aired the news on the difficulties faced by menstruating girls and women in flood-affected areas for not having sanitary pads, the Odisha government decided to distribute pads in the flood-hit areas free of cost. 

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) subsequently wrote to the Collectors of 10 flood-hit districts- Khordha, Puri, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Nayagarh, Balasore, Bhadrak, Keonjhar and Boudh, asking them to make it sure that girls and women in marooned villages get sanitary pads.

Notably, The Laadli Media Advocacy initiatives focus on promoting gender sensitivity in media and communication to build a more gender-equitable society with the support from UNFPA and Jaipur-based media advocacy organisation Lok Samvad Sansthan organised this grand function at the Rajasthan International Centre, Jaipur.

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