Who we are?
We are a group of South Asian journalists writing on issues concerning water; sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in our region.
We are convinced that access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene are the building blocks for human development. Unfortunately these fundamental rights of citizens across the region have been severely undermined, placing a huge burden on people’s health, livelihoods, time and quality of life. Even worse, diarrhoea, caused by unsanitary living conditions and unsafe drinking water, is the second biggest killer of children in South Asia, after pneumonia.
Our first meeting was held in February 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The forum emerged as a result of two days profound deliberation on the role of media as a watch dog, to sensitize politicians and decision makers. We also firmly believe that media can play an important role in raising public awareness on health and hygiene.
Now with over 30 members from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, we are associated with renowned newspapers, television channels and radio stations in the region.
We strongly believe our efforts will strengthen others to save the lives of children, men and women, by pursuing the following objectives that we collectively developed:
1. Extensively writing and broadcasting on important but ignored issues of water, sanitation and hygiene
2. Collectively targeting important political meetings, regional and international events to improve governance and accountability
3. Bringing to light human tragedies, mainly of women and children, hidden behind crude statistics
4. Sharing stories, knowledge and learning with fellow journalists across the region
How we work
The media forum is governed by a regional coordination committee comprising two members from each country. So far five countries, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are represented in this forum. This is a volunteer initiative.
We plan to meet by face to face after every second year and coordinate through other communication means such as skype in between. We have also established an e-group to regularly share our stories and experiences throughout the region, which is the source of inspiration for all of us.
We consult with experts working in this thematic area to inform our stories. We have also targeted key regional as well as global events to highlight the plight of the poor.
How can you participate?
This is an open forum and every journalist from the region writing on safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene can participate and become member of this forum. If you are a print, electronic or online journalist from any South Asian country and you are interested to become member of this forum, just send us your resumes with links of your at least five published stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can be member of this forum and can contribute by sharing knowledge, current trends, research and other relevant information which can substantiate our stories. You can also help by training journalists in technical aspects and other related capacities which can improve our working for this cause.