Of Us, For Us, By Us: Fast-growing rural newspaper ensures progress for women

In India, we repeatedly hear horror stories about violence against women, corruption in politics, and institutions failing to serve their people. When these stories come to affect our personal lives, we often shrug them off, convinced that we will never beat the big, bad, system that is stacked against us. We think, “If I speak, who will even listen? And what can they really do about it?”

Good news: There is at least one newspaper that not only listens to these troubles, but solves them too.

BODHI - For Us By Us Of Us

Khabar Lahariya is a local language publication in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that specializes in loud name-and-shame shenanigans – exposing various local scandals, ranging from petty corruption to instances of wife-beating. On one occasion, a story by a Khabar Lahariya journalist in UP led to the arrest of an abusive husband, whose wife was earlier ignored when she filed a complaint at the Station Office. That’s only one of many examples of how the publication enables change in its target communities.

The newspaper is staffed by a collective of 40 rural women from marginalized communities who write, edit, produce, distribute and market the publication. In other words, Khabar Lahariya is a newspaper for rural women, by rural women, and of rural women. It’s an example of citizen journalism at its best.

Going one step further than traditional newspapers, the women of Khabar Lahariya are committed to using their stories to spur action, not just insight. They have been wildly successful in doing this, trampling on the status-quo of gender and caste relations across the villages of northern India. Watch the video below to see them tell these stories of impact, first hand.