First Anniversary of Different Truths: Felicitations and Team DT

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Different Truths completes one year at the strike of the midnight hour, in India. A year back, two Founders dared to dream. Soon it became a shared vision. Poets and writers joined and a wonderful journey began. DT has over 500 Citizen Journalists, as of today. It also has a large number of poets. On the occasion of the First Anniversary, DT announces Felicitations across 14 categories. Thirty journalists and CJs and two institutions have been honoured to celebrate the webzine’s first birthday. DT Team is also being announced. The new team takes reign with immediate effect. Here’s a detailed report from the Founder and Editor-in- Chief, Arindam.

On the occasion of the First Anniversary of Different Truths (DT), we wish to felicitate and recognise the commendable contributions of some of our Top Citizen Journalists (CJs), for the year 2015-16. Needless to add that each and every person of our 500 plus army of CJs, helped us crowd source Content from various parts of the world. You all are worthy of our deepest gratitude. Each one of you put your shoulders to the wheel. With your unflinching trust in us, we achieved the near-impossible task.

DT is now the Participatory Social Journalism1 (SJ) platform, globally – we had stated our vision and mission, when we launched this webzine. We gladly acknowledge that we have achieved our goal, though we have many, many miles to walk.

DT believes in the Free and Fearless Voice. Every voice, no matter how small or meek must be heard. We are not dependent on any Corporate Bodies/ Industrial Houses, Political Parties, Moneybags or any Vested Interest Groups. If you passionately believe in a cause, be our partners.

Together we shall uphold the Torch of Knowledge and Dispel Ignorance, Greed and Avarice (corruption, hoarding and black marketeering) and Violence (terrorism and state-sponsored terror).

We promote Advocacy, Activism, and Nonviolence. We do not discriminate on the basis or caste, creed, race, religious , gender, et al. We are an Equal Opportunity, Secular, Liberal Democrat, a webzine that believes in Humanism.

Google Analytics tell us that in the year-long journey (read baby steps), DT has been read in 3402 cities, across 159 nations, between Nov. 25, 2015, and Nov 24, 2016, (see Fig. 1). You all have made it a global platform. The Top 50 nations are:

1. India, 2. United States, 3. Russia, 4. United Kingdom, 5. , 6. United Arab Emirates, 7. Australia, 8. , 9. Singapore, 10. Malaysia, 11. Mauritius, 12. Saudi Arabia, 13. Oman, 14. Netherlands, 15. Pakistan, 16. (Not set), 17. Nepal, 18. Philippines, 19. Kyrgyzstan, 20. Spain, 21. Indonesia, 22. Kuwait, 23. New Zealand, 24. Kenya, 25. China, 26. Italy, 27. Switzerland, 28. France, 29. Bangladesh, 30. Qatar, 31. South Africa, 32. Israel, 33. Bahrain, 34. Nigeria, 35. Ireland, 36. Sweden, 37. Belgium, 38. Hong Kong, 39. Norway, 40. Sri Lanka, 41. Thailand, 42. Denmark, 43. Japan, 44. Brazil, 45. Serbia, 46. Ukraine, 47. Poland, 48. South Korea, 49. Sudan, and 50. Romania.

Fig1-DTReaders

Fig1-DTReaders

Interestingly, the demographics and gender distribution of our readers (Target Audience) is more or less, evenly distributed (see Fig. 2). It is ample clear that DT caters to the decision makers.

Fig2-Demographics

Fig2-Demographics

The First Anniversary DT Awards

We felicitate 30 CJs and also award two institutions in the first year, in 14 categories. Belonging to an illustrious family – which he shies away from mentioning – humble Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad, is a living lesson in humility. He writes with ease and flourish on a wide range of subjects. He has been DT’s very first columnist. He runs a charitable clinic for the Dalits and the marginalised, in Gorakhpur. Dr. Ashoka is an eminent psychiatrist who discovered an illness that is named after him – Prasad’s Syndrome. He is also a qualified barrister with an LLM from Harvard and doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge and North Carolina. Ashoka has authored over 100 books in 25 different languages. A scholar of great repute, he has lived in 11 , before returning to his mother and motherland. A journalist and columnist, DT is privileged to felicitate him as the Erudite Scholar of the Year.

 

Neelum Saran Gour, an academician, renowned writer, journalist, and columnist, is a professor in the English Department of Allahabad University. She has authored five novels, four collections of short stories and one work of literary non-fiction. She has edited a pictorial volume on the history and culture of the city of Allahabad. Born in Allahabad, Neelum is the child of a Bengali mother and a Hindi phone father and was exposed to an array of languages and cultural influences in her childhood. An animal lover, she shelters stray and wounded street dogs with loving care. An inspiring teacher, she writes an interesting column, Gour’s Antiquarium – Retrobrowsings, regularly, for this webzine. We are honoured to felicitate her as the Media Commentator of the Year.

Norway-based, Amit Singh is an academician and a Citizen Journalist of repute. An independent Human Rights researcher, he writes on refugees, religious conflicts, discrimination and Human Rights issue and is interested in multiculturalism. Amit was granted a thesis research award by the Norwegian NGO Fritt Ord, to conduct research on the conflict between Freedom of expression and religious intolerance. He worked with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the United Nations Development Project, the National Human Rights Commission of India, and NGOs working at the grassroots level in India and Thailand. Hailing from Varanasi, he practiced Yoga in India, China, Thailand, and Norway. DT is proud to felicitate him as the Human Rights Crusader of the Year.

Saheli Mitra is a Kolkata-based media professional. A nature lover, philanthropist, photographer, and a poet of international repute, she is a friendly and warm nonconformist, and a rebel (dispelling the archetype in the public mind). She is an intense and passionate writer. Saheli wrote a monthly column, dealing with women-centric issues, for DT. Bold, controversial, not shying away from taboos, she does not mince words. One of her columns drew record hits on a single day – it has been consistently grabbing eyeballs. We honour her for the Most Popular Post of the Year.

A poet and writer, Lily Swarn, married to a retired colonel in the , has keen eye and sharp observation. Fond of gardening, she has been writing about the life and times of an army wife. A Citizen Journalist, Lily has written on wide ranging subjects for the webzine. We are pleased to acknowledge her as the Prolific Writer of the Year.

Madhumita Ghosh, a doctorate in English Literature from Jadavpur University. A poet, writer, critic and Citizen Journalist, Professor Madhumita taught at a college for over three decades. She has green fingers and has a beautiful terrace garden in her Jodhpur Park residence, in Kolkata. An ardent animal lover, she is a warm and affectionate person. We felicitate  her as the Versatile Writer of the Year.

Beautiful and charming, Sarika Sarkar Das, cooks fabulous cuisines, with a flourish and a winsome smile. Though a vegetarian by choice for many years, she prepares nonveg items without tasting. As a Citizen Journalist with DT, she wrote on several other topics. We are pleased to honour her as the Food Writer of the Year.

An ardent music lover and bibliophile, Mamta Joshi, is a sought after teacher in renowned St. Mary’s Convent, Allahabad. A charming person, she has a wonderful sense of humour. A Citizen Journalist with DT, and poet, we applaud her as the Popular Poet of the Year.

Navodita Pande is a well-known journalist, a faculty on TV Journalism with a renowned Mass Comm. institution and an author. She penned two books, one on TV Journalism and the other on yoga. She has been practicing yoga since she was 9-year- old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, she performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, Navodita taught at Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mandir, in New York. She had a yoga show on  24×7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants, in 2007. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki. She writes a popular column on yoga, every week, in DT. We are pleased to honour her as the Health Writer of the Year.

Sunil Kumar Banerjee was commissioned in the Indian Airforce (IAF), in 1978. He took premature retirement in the rank of Wing Commander. A Military Combat Free Fall Instructor for over a decade, he has made over 1000 parachute jumps over different Dropping Zones. He is the Founder Member of the elite “Akashganga”, the Indian Air Force Team and was featured in the Limca Book of Records for pioneering work in Canopy Flying in India. A Citizen Journalist with DT, he writes a regular column for the webzine. We are pleased to felicitate him as the Extreme Sports Writer of the Year.

Navneet Rastogi is a senior IT professional based in Bangalore. He is our Man Friday at the backend, providing the much needed technical and web support, with a smile. We are privileged to honour him as for the Commendable Technical Support for the Year.

Subhajit Sanyal, one of our teenage Citizen Journalist, is a poet, short story writer and a regular columnist in The NextGen column of the webzine. We applaud his as the Young Writer of the Year.

In the category of Institutional Award, DT honours two institutions. The joint winners are the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi and The Significant League (TSL), a Facebook community of poets, worldwide.

PVCHR, Varanasi, is a grassroots NGO that has been fighting for the cause of the Dalits, minorities and the marginal communities. It has freed bonded labourers in and around Varanasi, fought for restoring the dignity of the Mushahars, the lowest of the low among Dalits, the Untouchables. DT is privileged to honour this NGO for Upholding Human Rights.

DT honours the Editors and Poets of The Significant League (TSL). Led by well-known poets and litterateurs, it has over 6000 poets, as its members from various parts of the world. TSL had six Collaborations with Different Truths during the Year.

DT also recognises the Commendable Contributions of 18 Citizen Journalists during the year. In random order, they are:

1. Sukanya Juno Biswas
2. Maya Khandelwal
3. Shail Raghuvanshi
4. Deeya Bhattacharya
5. Neeti Banga
6. Elsy Satheesan
7. Lenin Raghuvanshi
8. Sehar Siddiqui
9. Nikita Goel
10. Joyce Yarrow
11. Lopamudra Banerjee
12. Champa Srinivasan
13. Urooj Murtaza
14. Sudeshna Mukherjee
15. Dr. Tripti Sharan
16. Dr. Tejal Shah
17. Anirban Kar
18. Vatsala Radhakeesoon

The Way Forward

It has been an exciting journey, not always easy, not without doubts. I must acknowledge that our Managing Editor, , shored the team and me with her ardent faith and unflinching belief in the Plenitude of the Universe. I had more unease and doubts than her. But, if and when she had a couple of blues, it was my turn to shore her. Along with a small and dedicated team, we moved on, relentlessly, in rain or shine.

Perhaps it was the labour of love or our zeal to make it work that the two of us, the Founders of DT, did not take a day’s break for 11 months. It was in October, post Dusshera that we decided to take a two-day break and enjoy the or whatever little remained of it.

We are pleased to inform you that we have received a wonderful birthday gift. From today, our Editorial Team, with many other committed journalists and CJs, have taken charge of the fledgling webzine.

This new team has decided to revamp DT totally. Our artists and technical team, led by Navneet, are working overtime. We hope to launch the spruced up version of Different Truths sometime in the New Year. The new DT Team shall be featured on the webzine then.

I am pleased to announce the larger DT Team here and along with, Anumita, welcome all of them in the DT family (confirmations are awaited from few more people. You may see a larger group, finally). It is a shared dream and it belongs to all of us, the DT Team here and the entire army of CJs. We intend to make it a strong Social Journalism platform (please see Endnote).

Team Different Truths

Arindam Roy                                              
Founder, Editorial Director,
Publisher & Editor-in- Chief

Anumita Chatterjee Roy
Co-founder, Creative Director
& Managing Editor

Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad
Director: Strategy & Executive Editor

Navodita Pande
Associate Editor

Amit Singh
Human Rights & Editor-at- large (Europe)

Sunil Kumar Banerjee
Sports Editor

Dr. Tejal Shah
Health & Wellness Editor

Nyra Banerjee
Beauty & Fashion Editor

Amit Rastogi
Architecture & Design Editor

Dr. Krishna Hota
Temple & Rituals Editor

Subhajit Sanyal
Coordinator: Youth Issues

Anita Parikh
Film Editor

————-

Prof. Bhaskar Mujumder, Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi,
Editorial Advisory Board

Navneet Rastogi
Chief Technical Officer

All advisory, editorial and administrative positions are honorary. Disputes, if any, shall be strictly under the jurisdictions of the courts in Allahabad only.

How interesting, am writing this on the Thanksgiving Day. We, in DT, extend our thanks to all our readers, worldwide. Our grateful acknowledgment is also due to each and every journalists and CJ, poets, artists, photographers, et al., for reposing their faith and trust in us. We thank the universe for giving us this wonderful opportunity  to meet exemplary people, scholars, and activists. Thanks are also due to all the Awardees and the DT Team. We thank one and all for being our co-travellers!

Let’s clink our glasses. Let the virtual party being! Cheers!


 

1 Different Truths (differenttruths.com) is a Social Journalism (a form of Collaborative Journalism) platform. Based on the tenets of Participatory Journalism, Social Journalism creates a synergy between Citizen Journalists (any lay person, who is not trained as a journalist to voice their opinions) and Professional Journalists. Social Journalism is a media model consisting of a hybrid of professional journalism, contributor and reader content. It is similar to open publishing platforms, like Twitter and WordPress.com, except that some or most content is also created and/or screened by professional journalists. Examples include Forbes.com, Medium, BuzzFeed, and Gawker. The model, which in some instances has generated monthly audiences in the tens of millions, has been discussed as one way for professional journalism to thrive despite a marked decline in the audience for traditional journalism.

Social Journalism helps strengthening and deepening Democratic Values. It uphold the best traditions of secular, non-violent, non-racist and casteless society. Different Truths upholds non-discriminatory traditions, where Special Needs people have equal opportunities. It aims at unifying the Peoples from various parts of the globe to create a world without boundaries – a Global Village where Peace and Prosperity rules.

[Source: About Us, see Footer on Home Page: http://differenttruths.com/about-us/].

©Arindam Roy

 

Arindam Roy

Arindam Roy

Arindam Roy has 35 years in various newsrooms. He was the Managing Editor of a reputed Gurgaon-based Citizen Journalist portal and has held senior positions in several publications. As Correspondent and Bureau Chief, he has written extensively for Associated Press, Times of India, Hindustan Times and multiple news outlets. He has contributed 13 chapters to various publications. Of these, seven chapters were published in two Coffee Table Books, published by the Times Group. He is a co-author of a novel, Rivers Run Back that he penned with Joyce Yarrow. The novel was launched at the American Centre, New Delhi, on January 2015. He lives in Allahabad.
Arindam Roy
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