Former Rural Affairs Editor of the newspaper The Hindu, Sainath has won over 40 global and national awards for his reporting, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s most prestigious prize for Journalism Literature and Creative Communications Arts as well as the Amnesty International’sGlobal Human Rights Journalism
Sainath’s talk will focus on his digital archive project – the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI)– and the importance of digitally documenting the complexity and richness of rural India for current and future generations. PARI contains thousands of pieces of audio, video, and text stories about the life, work, and identity of the 850 million people of rural India, together representing 95 different regions, 700 languages and 86 scripts. PARI, whose content comes under the Creative Commons and is free to access, contains a teaching and resource section - in a time when rural reporting is rapidly decreasing in India, PARI serves as a powerful database for other news organizations as well as schools and universities.
“PARI is an undertaking unprecedented in scale and scope, utilizing myriad forms of media in audio, visual and text platforms.One where the stories, the work, the activity, the histories are narrated, as far as possible, as far as we can manage, by rural Indians themselves. By tea-pickers amidst the fields. By fishermen out at sea. By women paddy transplanters singing at work, or by traditional storytellers. By Khalasi men using centuries-old methods to launch heavy ships to sea without forklifts and cranes. In short, by everyday people talking about themselves, their labour and