Kashmiri Journalist Baba Umar Bags ICRC-PII Award

Baba Umar receiving the award.

The Delhi-based Kashmiri Journalist, Mohammad Umar Baba who writes under the byline Baba Umar has bagged the best ‘humanitarian Reporting Award 2011’ award in the All India Journalist Competition for the best print media article on humanitarian issues.

The awards are instituted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Press Institute of India (PII) for articles published in an Indian national or regional newspaper or magazine in English or any of the Indian languages.

It is the first time that a Kashmiri journalist has won this award.

Baba, who is currently working as a correspondent in Tehelka news magazine and has previously worked for Kashmiri local daily Rising Kashmir bagged the second prize for his article ‘Screams from the Valley’ that appeared in Delhi-based Tehelka news magazine on January 01, 2011 issue. Baba dedicated the prize to his parents who live in Srinagar.

The award ceremony was held today at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi after a panel discussion on the theme, “Media Reporting on the Fate of Victims of Armed Violence.”

Aman Sethi of the The Hindu newspaper won the first prize while Baba of Tehelka Magazine won the second prize. The third prize was won by Reji Joseph of Rashtriya Deepika, a regional newspaper published from Kottayam, Kerala. The consolation prize went to Anup Sharma of The Times of India, Guwahati.

ICRC is a 150 year-old international organisation working in more than eighty countries seeing to preserve a measure of humanity amidst violence while PII is about fifty years old organisation working in India for upholding the standards of journalism in India through research and training programmes.

In all, 100 entries were received by the ICRC of which 44 were shortlisted for further consideration.

On the occasion Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities was the moderator and Chief Guest while jurists who chose the best four pieces included Prof. Anuradha Chenoy, School of International Studies, JNU, Advocate Vrinda Grover, Supreme Court lawyer and M R Narayan Swamy, Senior Editor, Indo-Asian News Service.

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