7th KC Kulish Award
Winning Entries



Awarded Story

(1) TITLE OF THE STORY: Secrecy for Sale- Inside the Global Money Maze
Newspaper/ Org- ICIJ
Team Leader- Gerard Ryle
Language- English


Secrecy for Sale is a 50- article juggernaut involving 112 journalists and 42 media partners in 58 countries. Their challenging and risky work broke open a secret parallel economy of offshore holdings that benefits the few at the expense of the many. Stories rolled out around the globe between April 3 and Dec 2014, 2013. From the United States to France to India, from Mongolia to the Philippines and beyond, Secrecy for Sale took on the wealthy elite and laid bare the hidden financial dealings of government officials, dictators and despots, Wall Street fraudsters, arms dealers, newly- minted billionaires and their political cronies, money launderers and religious leaders.

 

(2) TITLE OF THE STORY: Investigative reporting on the VVIP Chopper deal
scam
Newspaper/ Org- The Indian Express
Team Leader- Manu Pubby
Team Member- Rahul Tripathi
Language- English


In a series of reports that stretched across two years, the Indian Express first broke the story on a corruption scandal in the VVIP chopper deal that was inked by the Indian government in 2010 and then followed it with investigative stories exposing the middleman and facilitators involved. The stories focused on how the chopper deal was fixed in favor of an Italian company- Agusta Westland- through a complex network of middleman and government functionaries. They also bought out the method used to generate the bribe as well as the financial web through which funds were channeled across the world from Italy.
The article not only brought to light the flawed defense procurement system in India that is prone to rigging but also an international bribery racket that had its roots in Italy, Switzerland, Tunisia, Mauritius and Singapore.
The stories also brought out that the middleman involved named top ruling party functionaries in their conversations on fixing the deal, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and congress leader Ahmed Patel, other than top retired officers like Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi. The Defence Ministry canceled the VVIP chopper contract and initiated penal action against the Italian company and also brought amendments to its procurement process to ensure that companies do not use the offset route to channel bribes to India.

Merit Award

(1) TITLE OF THE STORY: The Big Question : Can war on terror respect human
rights
Newspaper- Nation Media Group
Team Leader- Patrick Mayoyo
Language- English


What happens when war and human rights meet? A collision of interests and causes, that's what. In the ongoing war on terror, activists claim, is a blatant disregard of the law. But can one ever hope for any civilized exchanges between two opposites armed to the teeth. The story deals with the biggest question that is how to deal with terror suspects in a world brimming with human rights activists. And how it was easier to fight before human rights activists waded into the battle field. Now queasy eyes follow every turn a drone takes, every move a soldier makes. International lobby organization Reprieve, for instance, says about 26,000 people are being held by the US in secret prisons- the number includes those held offshore and in land based detention centers.

(2) TITLE OF THE STORY: When caste blooms, love withers
Newspaper- The New Indian Express
Team Leader- D. Suresh Kumar
Team Member- Niyas Ahmed
Language- English


This story is about a young boy Ilavarasan, a Dalit youth who falls in love with an upper caste girl Divya. He was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Their love marriage led to caste violence and attack on the Dalit homes in November 2012. The couple was separated by Hindu caste leaders. The New Indian Express decided to play with a single point agenda with demolishing the caste hegemony in western Tamil Nadu. The paper kept the story alive by commissioning a series of articles/reports, which carried for over 10 days. The newspaper the story on page 1 and had comprehensive report inside for 10 days in a bid to secure justice for Ilavarasan. It was the only newspaper to get hold of the postmortem report of Ilavarasan and published it. The stories ensured that Dalits in Dharmapuri got a voice through the newspaper.

(3) TITLE OF THE STORY: Health Services Under Open Skies
Newspaper- Khabar Lahariya
Team Leader- Shalini Joshi
Team Members- Laxmi Sharma, Savita Kumari
Language- Local Dialect


Health services both govt. and private are appalling in Bihar. In sitamarhi and Sheohar, in remote north Bihar along the border with Nepal, these services are amongst the worst even in the state. A special issue on health services in 2012, followed by regular reporting in 2013 was undertaken to shed light on the lack of information on health entitlements in remote rural areas. The stories shed light on the bad state of health services in the remote rural areas.

(4- a) TITLE OF THE STORY: Land Mafia grabs the Fort
Newspaper- Amar Ujala
Team Leader- Ashutosh Mishra
Team Members- Abhishek Singh, Sanjay Lochan Pandey
Language- Hindi


Amar Ujala received a public call that historical fort of the founder of Kanpur, Raja Hindu Singh Chandel has been illegally occupied. Land was being sold gradually. Reporting team went for ground verification. Information was true, not only land even sand of hilly area was sold. Photos taken a few years ago, were compared to the present condition of the fort. It was not only the issue of a property, but an issue of emotions and sentiments of the localites. Through public support and evidential proofs, a positive outcome emerged as the district magistrate declared the land as public land.

(4-b) TITLE OF THE STORY: Threat unfold: Idrish goes from Policeline to prison
Newspaper- Amar Ujala
Team Leader- Ashutosh Mishra
Team Members- Abhishek Singh, Dheerendra Jaiswal
Language- Hindi


A social activist associated with Pakistan human-rights Ansar Barni made comment on twitter in February 2013 that pak national idrish living in kanpur is not provided with food and medicines. Hid trust was ready to help idrish. This gave an investigative issue to Amar Ujala. The invesitagation revealed that Idrish alam, a Pakistan resident was residing in police line of kanpur, that too without having visa. He was also enjoying the hospitality of UP police. He obtained mobile Sim card by using fake documents and was in constant telephonic conversations with Pak nationals. Discrepancy in LIU Level was exposed. The story awoke the Police dept and intelligence services and raise question related to national security.

(5) TITLE OF THE STORY: 50 days in KLIA
Newspaper- The Star
Team Leader- T. Selva Kumar
Team Members- P. Aruna Rashitha, Abdul Hamid
Language- English

An investigative story to expose corruption, weaknesses and loopholes in the govt agencies. The story exclusively reports a Palestinian man who had been sleeping on a couch at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport transit area for over 50 days unknown to security officers. The exposure resulted in the overhaul of airport security, pressured the authorities to probe don illegal activities being conducted at the airport, highlighted human rights issues and the reports helped ease the suffering of stranded passengers. The story drew the attention of the federal government which took immediate action to resolve the issue.

(6) TITLE OF THE STORY: Personal staff of MP's and Ministers
Newspaper- The Indian Express
Team Leader- Shyamlal Yadav
Language- English

A series of stories have been made using RTI act for investigative journalism. There are 4 stories comprising of 9 articles related to broad public interest which were gathered using RTI during 2013.Topics of the stories are-
1.Personal staff of MP's and Ministers
2.Seeds of Political Patronage
3.Political Resources Development
4.What was once a river
Impact : Story 1 created a great impact. Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha passed a resolution that close relatives must not be appointed as Mps' PA. (2 & 3) The process of allotting Krishi Vigyan Kendra to NGOs is stopped & the process was reviewed.

(7) TITLE OF THE STORY: Its not the end of simmering anger- The conspiracy
that sets J K Lakshmi on fire
Newsaper- Central Chronicle
Team Leader- Dinesh Kumar
Team Member- Gitesh Dewangan
Language- English

On April 4, 2013 work premises of an upcoming cement factory of J K Laxmi Cement Pvt Ltd was torched in Malpuri village. More than one hundred villagers, including women and children were rounded up by the police and all the mainstream newspapers and media poured out information that irate land looser villagers torched the factory. The Central Chronicle team investigated and came out with an exclusive story with the photograph of the main accused in the fire and alleged Maoist Veerendra Kurrey shaking hands with the vice president of the J K Laxmi's project. The two stories published in the newspaper highlighted the possible conspiracy angle between a section of the company officials, a section of the agitators, local police and administrative officials that led to the fire.

(8) TITLE OF THE STORY: Back to motherland after decade long life in Colombo jail
Newspaper- Malyala Manorama
Team Leader- C.K. Sivanandan
Language- Malyalam

A journalist on an official assignment to cover T-20 Cricket world cup in Colombo, Sri Lanka, came to know that there are 33 Indian prisoners in the Colombo central jail. 10 years ago the Indian Prime Minister and Sri Lankan President signed an agreement to send these prisoners back to Indian jail, but nothing materialized. The journalist managed to enter the jail premises and interviewed the prisoners with the permission of the jail authorities. The next day the story appeared in Malayala Manorama on page one in all editions with 8 column display. The union minister and the M P's from Kerela brought this to the attention of the prime minister. Many English newspapers carried the story, giving courtesy to Manorama. The Prime Minister sought explanation from the external affairs ministry and the Indian embassy in Colombo. At last, in February 2013 the Govt. decided to bring back all these prisoners to India. In fact, it was a come back to life for them, because most of them were sentenced to imprisonment until death. 27 prisoners were brought to Tamil Nadu and 6 to Kerela. The latest impact of the story in this year of 2014 is that 2 of the prisoners have been sent free after punishment.

(9) TITLE OF THE STORY: Link between Mombasa and Illegal Wildlife Trade
Newspaper- Diplomat East Africa
Team Leader- Wanjohi Kabukuru
Language- English

In the last three years there has been a surge in poaching in Mombasa. The culprits are said to be local poachers and the criminal cartels in Asia and Africa. Though governmental agencies and conservation lobbies and civil societies have condemned poaching, it has continued unabated. This is the gist of the story by Wanjohi Kabukuru who travelled all the way to Mombasa Port the main sea-gateway into East Africa to investigate the link between the coastal port city and poaching. What he discovered is laid bare in this story published by Diplomat East Africa in October 2013. The
investigative piece brings out the history of the Afro-Asian trade routes and explains why the demand of wildlife products has risen. Wanjohi has managed to unearth the traders involved, the salaries of wildlife rangers and the prices offered by the black-market. He also brings out the international ring involved in the poaching business and
their preferred agents to the markets in Asia. The story helps to discover the link between poaching terrorism and rebel groups and how proceeds from poaching are funding rebel groups and militant groups in the Eastern and Central African regions. The story brings out the broad theme of Corruption, transnational organized Crime and environmental degradation. After this story major changes were made in the Kenya wildlife services, the story also won the best environmental reporting award in Kenya

(10-a) TITLE OF THE STORY: Hindustan blood donor chain, a chain of lifeline, to
the people, by the people
Newspaper- Hindustan Media venture Ltd
Team Leader- Manish Mishra
Team Members- Ashish Tripathi, Madhav Sharma
Language- Hindi

A Campaign started in 2013 focusing on a small girl child URVASHI who was ill and would die due to lack of blood. The stories were carried out in the newspaper motivating the society, making them more aware about the blood donation and how it can save a life. The stories created an impact, helped to cure the girl child and made a communal harmony among the people.

(10-b) TITLE OF THE STORY: “Company Bagh Satyagrah”, The power of people
Newspaper- Hindustan Media venture Ltd
Team Leader- Manish Mishra
Team Members- Madhav Sharma, Satish Saxena
Language- Hindi

Company Bagh, located in Moradabad had always been a beautiful place full of greenery, but due to apathy and negligence this place became a heap of ruins. Hindustan started the campaign and brought awareness to clean the place and make it cleaner and greener. After a year of the initiation of the movement the results have been positive despite of the 2 prominent newspapers covering it negatively.