Shubranshu Choudhary, the creator of CGNet Swara which gives voice to Adivasi concerns through phone based call center type platform, has won the prestigious “Index on Censor ship” award for this year.
Shubranshu won the award in the digital activism category, pushing behind Edward Snowden, by a public vote. Chinese social network FreeWeibo and operation system TAILS, were also nominated in the same category.
CGNet Swara allows far flung mountain dwelling adivasi public to record their concerns, complaints over phones without them having to incur the call costs even. Issues are moderated by journalists and become available for playback online as well as over the phone apart from coordinating with the concerned officials.
“This will not only democratize communication but also ensure that small problems of advisasis are redressed and do not accumulate to become big ones, such as what is called the ‘Maoist problem’. We want to approach the government with this model”, Shubranshu said accepting the award.
“We need to democratize journalism, to allow for a journalism of concern, so that ordinary people can tell their own stories and enrich democracy further. If we want a better future, we cannot afford to leave communication in the hands of a few people”, he said in a message to the online, offline communication experts.