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Journalist Princess Rashir honored with 'Ramnath Goenka Award' for Excellence in Journalism

Shillong, Mar 26: Meghalaya’s Princess Giri Rashir, a journalist with EastMojo, has been honored with the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2021 under the Environment, Science, and Technology Reporting category.

Rashir’s compelling documentary titled “Choking amid coking: Meghalaya coke factories leave no room to breathe” earned her this esteemed recognition for shedding light on the dire consequences of coke factories in Meghalaya.

The 22-minute documentary delves into the detrimental impact of coke factories on the lives of the public in Meghalaya, particularly in the East Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills Districts.

Rashir’s investigative work highlighted the hazardous effects of these factories on both human health and the environment.

Expressing gratitude for the accolade, Rashir said, “I am grateful to the organisers for recognising our work. Also very thankful for my mentors at EastMojo, without their guidance I wouldn’t have made it. I hope this will pave the way for more awards in the future.”

Reflecting on her documentary, Rashir emphasised its focus on the proliferation of illegal coke plants in specific regions of Meghalaya and the resulting health hazards and environmental violations.

Her decision to embark on this project was fueled by the widespread protests against these factories, as well as growing concerns raised in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Rashir encountered several challenges during the production of the documentary, including accessing restricted areas within coke plants and navigating through potentially dangerous environments.

However, with the assistance of the Environment Coordination Committee (ECC), she was able to overcome these obstacles and present a comprehensive exposé.

The documentary’s impact was profound, prompting government action to address the issue of illegal coke plants in the state.

The government formed a technical committee to investigate the operations of coke plants, leading to legal actions against those operating unlawfully.

The High Court’s order to shut down and demolish illegal coke plants marked a significant victory for both the ECC and the affected communities.

Princess has been associated with EastMojo since 2019, reporting stories from the ground, delving into vital issues, and advocating for the people of Meghalaya.

She becomes the third individual from Meghalaya to receive this esteemed award, following in the footsteps of Rikynti Marwein, the editor of Highland Post and late Lambok Thabah.

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