#Shakti4Beti –campaign to empower girl child

Friday, 15 June 2018 0 comments

Need to go beyond #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao, 

say communication activists

MUMBAI/BENGALURU, June 15: With #Shakti4Beti as theme  focusing on empowering the girl child, a social communication campaign has been launched.
In an annual event, National communicators body Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) observes July 1 – the official birth anniversary of Indo-US astronaut late Kalpana Chawla – as the Daughters’ Day to draw the attention of the society on issues related to the girl child.
A skit focusing on Daughers being enacted at SIMSR, Mumbai, last July
 “We are inspired by the government’s campaign #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao,” said PRCI governing council chairman B N Kumar. “PRCI is keen that the society goes beyond protecting and educating the girl child. As a democratic, civilized society we must empower the girl child so that she plays a niche role in the nation building activities, Kumar, who is also a social communication activist, said.
“A girl child in India continues to be given a raw treatment,” said PRCI chief mentor and chairman emeritus M B Jayaram. “Be it in rural areas, agriculture fields or even in places of work and bollywood, women have been complaining of discrimination,” he said and stressed that women deserve level playing field.
“How can we even imagine the New India-2022 story without the active involvement of daughters,” asked educationist and chairperson of PRCI’s youth wing Young Communicators Club Geetha Shankar. Enough has been said and written about girls and boys working as equals, but precious little has been done, she said and stressed: “Women do not crave for any favours. Please do not put any obstacles in our growth,” she said.
...at Bengaluru, last year
The campaign launched today will culminate around July 1. Apart from holding events around #Shakti4Beti or #EmpoweringDaughter, PRCI and YCC will hold a series of activities across its chapters in various cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh mobilizing communication students from universities and colleges to do the messaging.
Contests in debates, short films, photography, poster design, and street play will be held apart from social media campaigns. An online petition addressed to the President of India, Women and Child Welfare Minister and the National Women’s Rights Commission will be launched requesting listing out an agenda towards ensuring a level playing field for the girl child, PRCI said.
Snapshot of Daughters' Day '17 event at Kochi 

Why should I read newspapers?

Thursday, 24 May 2018 0 comments

Recently, we (at PRCI) had an opportunity for interns in journalism for working on editorial supplements for a Mumbai newspaper. While we received few entries to our invitation to write essays on some current topics, one of the candidates bowled a bouncer! We asked him as to which are the newspapers that he reads. He shot back: “Why should I read any newspaper and know about what has already happened?” The panel of interviewers did not know where to look! And this reminded me of a question that a journalism student at Andheri (Mumbai) asked me: who is Rajdeep Sardesai! 
(This article first appeared on Reputation Today)

For the detailed comment, please check:

Wanted: #GST4Petrol

Monday, 21 May 2018 0 comments

Please sign this petition addressed to the PM.

How long do we have to bear this burden?
Petrol and diesel prices are skyrocketing again. The common man doesnt get any respite despite promises from ruling party and protests by the opposition
Our simple question is: Why can't we bring petrol and diesel prices  under GST?
At present, a central excise duty of 23% and State VAT of 34% is  levied on petrol and diesel. Thus, the total tax works out to 57%.
If these essential products are brought under GST , the maximum tax will be only 28%. This means the prices of petrol and diesel can come down by almost 50%.
The people and the economy at at large will be benefited as it will have a positive, cascading effect. 
Please act in public interest and give the common man the much-needed relief.

Veteran Communication professional Deepak Neogi is no more


Sad to share the news that our old friend, journalist-turned PR professional Deepak Neogi is more.
I had never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be penning obits for my close friends - first it was Parthasarathi Swami, managing editor of Business India, and now Deepak.
Deepak had stomach cancer that spread to other parts of his body. He breathed last around 8 PM yesterday.
Deepak (63) started his career as a journalist at Hitavada in Nagpur. He came to Mumbai to join Free Press Journal in 1977-78. He later joined UNI and  switched over to PR by joining INPUT (Information and Public relations Unit), a Reliance outfit under Mudra Communication.
He was actively involved in the launch of Reliance Infocomm under the leadership of Mukesh Ambani and remained with the company after Anil Ambani took it over.
Very friendly by nature, Deepak was known for his signature smile.
He was also associated with Public Relations Society of India (PRSI).
Our heartfelt condolences to his wife Sharmila and daughter Nandini.

Here are some condolence messages received to my Facebook post:
RIP Deepak
-Kingshuk Nag

Sharad Bailur Deeply deeply sorry to her this. What a blow. I don't have Sharmila's number, unfortunately. I can't even ring her. To say "My condolences" is so trite and inadequate Great personal friend though he was nine years younger than me. What a terrible thing to happen. I did not know about the stomach cancer.
- Sharad Bailur

Oh, sad news. Had worked with him in FPJ. My condolences to his bereaved family.Used to see him regularly at Press Club ten 15 years ago
- Seshadri Ramaswamy

Such a low key man, we cant get his photograph anywhere online!

-Kiron Kasbekar

Our heartfelt condolences.
-Sonny Abraham

-Chandra Prakash Jha

A very balanced Journalist and Communication professional having rich experience in the Journalism, is a total loss to CC world . I had enjoyed the working with him during his initial carrier at Hitavada , Raipur . Later on he Joined Reliance Industries .
Our deepest condolences .
-Jagdish Prashad Sharma
May his soul rest in peace.
Dr CVN Reddi

-Raghu Ramakrishnan

-Prafulla Marpakwar

-Unnikrishnan Nair

Rest in Peace Deepak Neogi.
-William Pinto

RIP...om shanti.
-Anil Rawal

Very sad and tragic. An old dear friend since 1984 when he came to cover Bhopal Gas tragedy. After my shifting at Mumbai we were core team members of PRSI. Always very helpful, through professional and most important a very very dear friend of friends. We always miss you Deepak. It's not time to go.....
Deepest condolences to the family. May departed soul rest in peace.......Om Shanti.
Alok Awasthi

He hailed from Katni and would often talk about it....I being from the neighbouring district of Jabalpur.
- Mrityunjay Bose

Saddened to hear sudden and untimely death of our old good friend Deepak. We have a friendship of more than 20 years. Even I had a talk with him just one month back. He used to say that he was not keeping well, but never said about his on-going cancer treatment. May His soul rest in peace.
Indra Sekhar Bhadra 

Financial Stability of journos must for Press Freedom, says Press Council Chairman

Sunday, 20 May 2018 0 comments

        At RedInk awards, Justice Prasad defends wage boards for newsmen
        Mark Tully gets of the RedInk Lifetime Achievement Award, says Radio journalism should be resurrected in India
         Media owners say it is not a great business, but there is money to be made

MUMBAI: To ensure freedom for the news media, it is necessary to ensure the financial stability of journalists, and job security. It is only if a journalist is financially secure that he can do his job with peace of mind, said Justice C K Prasad, chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI).
Giving his closing remarks as the chief guest at the ‘National Red Ink Awards for Excellence in Journalist’ instituted by Mumbai Press Club (www.mumbaipressclub.com) on Friday night, Justice Prasad said it was not fair on the part of media owners to run down the appointment of Wage Boards for media employees. Other industries such as cement and pharmaceuticals are all governed by the Minimum Wages Act, where such law does not exist for newspaper employees, he pointed out.
 “An editor returning to his office only to receive a pink slip does not augur well for the free press,” he said, adding that he had examined the balance sheet of many media groups and found the profits they were making could easily support the payment of Wage Board salaries.
Earlier, he emphasized that the job of the Press Council of India is to ensure the freedom of the press, and “we are not here to regulate the media.”
Sir Mark Tully receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Sir Mark Tully, who worked for over two decades as the bureau chief of BBC in the subcontinent, received the RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement’. In his acceptance speech, Tully said he grew up as radio reporter, and he would always prefer radio to television. Radio broadcasts gave a personal touch as “the listener gets the feeling that the news reader or reporter talks to him directly,” he said and recalled how at a village gathering in Uttar Pardesh, people greeted him as “a friend”.
Sir Mark, who was deported during the emergency, said for journalists’ credibility is everything, and in today’s age they must learn to grapple with fake news. Just a small crosscheck and verification of facts would help in giving the right information to the society. He said public service broadcasting was a bolstering factor of a free press. Citing the BBC as an example, Tully said in his 40 years of working for the organisation, he could not recall a single instance where he had been asked to change or drop his news dispatch.
Your editor with Faye!
Faye D’souza, executive editor of TV channel Mirror Now, who was given the ‘Journalist of the year’ Award said her reporting was built on covering the issues that affected the common man. Focusing on credible news without much antics helped her channel stand out in the crowd and make a mark for itself.
“I stick my neck out to report not what politicians are saying but what hits the man on the street, even as the entire media could be busy with irrelevant breaking news,” she said.
A high power panel consisting of Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat Group, Raghav Bahl, Founder & Chairman, Quintillion Media, Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group, and Samir Patil, founder and CEO of Scroll Media, debated the important and relevant issue of: Is there a business in News Media’.  Senior Journalist and Founder of IndiaSpend.Org  Govindraj Ethiraj anchored the panel discussion.
Most of the panellists agreed that news media is not a great business but there is money to be made. Raghav Bahl stressed that as the scenario shifted to digital platforms, a healthy business in niche areas was not difficult. As the business scaled up along with the number of brands, the challenges also increased. He emphasized that the mandatory legal requirement in broadcasting for 51 percent Indian ownership had become a bottleneck to expansion. It was not a level playing field as the law did not apply to other areas like print or digital.
The Secretary of the Mumbai Press Club, Dharmendra Jore, in his welcome speech said this year the RedInk Awards had received a record over-2,000 entries. Gurbir Singh, the convenor of the Awards Committee, said accusing the media of being anti-establishment was foolish as by its very nature news media will always be anti-establishment irrespective of the party in power.
Awards were given away in 11 competitive categories and five special categories. As many as 32 journalists received trophies and Rs one lakh as cash prizes. The RedInk Award for ‘A Media Start-up that is making a difference’ was given to IndiaSpend.org, for its initiative in developing data journalism in India.
Here is the list of RedInk awards winners for 2018:
Business & Economy
Print :         SruthisagarYamunan, Scroll.In
Kabir Agarwal, The wire
TV     :         Sushil Kumar Mohapatra, NDTV India
Print :         Santosh Singh, The Indian Express
TV     :         DeepuRevathy, Manorama News
Print :         T. R. Vivek, Newslaundry.com
Aruna Chandrasekhar, The Caravan
TV     :         Sushil Chandra Bahuguna, NDTV India
Health & Wellness
Print :         Menaka Rao, Scroll.in
Human Rights
Print :         Radhika Iyengar, Al Jazeera Media Network
TV     :         Shone Satheesh, Scroll.in
Lifestyle & Entertainment
Print :         Shamik Bag, Mint
Print :         RikyntiMarwein, Highland Post
TV     :         Jainendra Kumar, ABP News
Science & Innovation
Print :         R Ramachandran, Frontline
TV     :         Jugal R Purohit, India Today
Print :         Shail Desai, Mint
TV     :         Smitha Nair, Scroll.In
The Big Picture
Winner        :         Vinod Kumar T, The New India Express
Runner up 1          :         Indranil Mukherjee, Agence France Presse
Runner up 2          :         SibuBhuvanendran, MalayalaManorama
Women Empowerment & Gender Equality
Print            :         Leena Gita Reghunath (Surabhi Kanga), The Caravan
:         Shalini Nair, The Indian Express
TV              :         Moumita Sen &Ruchira Sharma, India Today
Media Start-up of the year     :         IndiaSpend.com
Mumbai Star Reporter  :         Yadu Joshi, Lokmat &
                                                Chaitanya Marpakwar, Mumbai Mirror
Journalist of the Year    :         Faye D’Souza, Mirror Now
Lifetime Achievement :         Sir William Mark Tully

PRCI-YCC award inspires her - Young Nitignya's gets place for pre-school

Monday, 14 May 2018 0 comments

Young student from Mumbai Nitignya Waghela received the Kautilya Award for Student Social Service for her exemplary work in promoting education among the children of poor. She helped at least a hundred children get education and PRCI has adopted one girl nominated by her Shiksha Foundation. Please check this moving letter from her.
B N Kumar sir and PRCI:

Thank you so much for the award from PRCI-YCC, presented during the Pune Conclave.
After receiving the award from the chief guest Mr. Kumar Ketkar at Symbiosis Vishwabhavan, on 10th march 2018, I developed confidence and  started my work with full enthusiasm on my dream project to start a pre-school for the children below the age group of 8 years
i.e from lower KG TO 2ND standard.
This project is for for those kids whose parents keep migrating from one place to another and due to the lack of documents they do not get admission in any other government/private school.
Therefore, the agenda of this free school is to provide basic education as well as a the school leaving certificate. The Shiksha Foundation with which I have been associated for few years already has the permission to run a school till 4th class.
But a major problem that we faced each and every time was place for the school premises which meant lot of funds which we do not have.
Nitignya receiving the inspiring PRCI-YCC award from Kumar Ketkar, now Rajya Sabha MP
On receiving the YCC award, my confidence levels doubled and I was inspired to work on the school project with added vigour!, I also used the award in support of my dream project. All that I needed was an inspiration and new drive which, sir,  I got from PRCI-YCC.
Thank you so much BNK sir and PRCI.
While promoting the project, I met a Mr. Sudhakar Kamath who ffully understood the concept and expressed his readiness to give 4,000 sq ft to run the school at Palghar-Manor on the putskirts of Mumbai, that too on a lease of just Rs. 10/-
He has also promised to fulfill all the requirements by October 2018.
It is the stepping stone towards realising dream and I have no words to express my appreciation to the encouragement that I received from PRCI-YCC.

With your and PRCI’s blessings, I am sure, we will succeed in providing basic, quality education to the children of migrant labour.

Thank You So Much Sir


Yess, we voted!

Saturday, 12 May 2018 0 comments

Snapshots of PRCI fraternity which celebrated democracy by voting in Bangalore today. 
PRCI firmly believes that Communication and Democracy go together.

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