Pulitzer Center grantee Sukanya Shantha won the Asian College of Journalism’s 2020 K P Narayana Kumar Memorial Award for Social Impact Journalism for her article, “From Segregation to Labour, Manu’s Caste Law Governs the Indian Prison System.”
The reporting is part of Barred – A Prisons Project, a five-part series from The Wire that brings attention to the realities of incarcerated Indians whose stories are often ignored in the media. Shantha’s reporting sheds light on the persistence of caste-based segregation, discrimination, and division of labour within the prison system. Shantha’s article provides readers with details on the harsh living conditions, violence, and lack of medical care and legal support faced by India’s incarcerated individuals.
“Sukanya Shantha’s article — "From Segregation to Labour, Manu’s Caste Law Governs the Indian Prison System" — powerfully meets the two essential requirements of successful social impact journalism: It exposes an injustice which has been very largely concealed from public view, and it lays the groundwork — through well researched and clearly expressed reporting — to stimulate and inform a campaign for redress,” the deciding jury said.
While speaking at the award ceremony, Shantha touched on wanting to see more media organizations cover issues of the incarcerated, specifically the caste-based nature of India’s criminal justice system.
Read more about Shantha’s win here.