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Dainik Bhaskar wins Gold at WAN IFRA Asian Media Awards for Best Covid-19 related photography

Dainik Bhaskar, the Hindi Daily, in its April 4, 2021 edition had reported that government data cited only 21 Covid deaths in the five days leading up to its publication in Bhopal, while 356 last rites of those infected with the virus took place in the same period at three locations

DB Corp Limited (DBCL), the print media company, has won Gold at WAN IFRA Asian Media Awards 2022 for its journalism in the Bhopal edition – “Burning Pyres are not lying” in the Best Covid-19 related photography category.

DBCL is home to - Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi- newspapers, as well as My FM, the radio network.

Dainik Bhaskar, the Hindi Daily, in its April 4, 2021 edition had reported that government data cited only 21 Covid deaths in the five days leading up to its publication in Bhopal, while 356 last rites of those infected with the virus took place in the same period at three locations.

The article was accompanied with an aerial view photograph of burning funeral pyres at Bhopal’s Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat. The journalistic courage and integrity displayed in the edition, which called out the Madhya Pradesh government for its inappropriate data on Covid deaths in the state, was applauded by an international panel of experts. 

WAN-IFRA Asian Media Awards (AMA) aims to promote the highest publishing standards in the fields of newspaper and magazine design, infographics, editorial content, marketing, community service, revenue diversification, and photojournalism. Several newspapers and magazines in Asia Pacific, South Asia, and the Middle East have taken part in the competition over the last twenty years. 

Avnish Jain, State Editor, Madhya Pradesh, said, “At Dainik Bhaskar, our editorial philosophy is ‘Kendra Mein Pathak’, and we believe the very reason for our existence is our reader’s trust in us. During the second wave of Covid, it was our duty to investigate and report an apparent disconnect in the Government’s data and the reality on the ground. Given the extant circumstances, this was undoubtedly fraught with risk – especially to the health of our staff. Our reporters visited and gathered data from local crematoriums and burial grounds, and in one such incident in Madhya Pradesh, the government had reported only 4 deaths, but 112 funerals were done as per Covid protocol and our photographer captured this heart wrenching picture at one of the crematoriums.”

The photographer who clicked the picture, Sanjeev Gupta, said, “It was a truly gut-wrenching sight when I visited the Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat crematorium ground at Bhopal on April 15, 2021. I still get goosebumps remembering the day. It was a surreal feeling to see more than 40 pyres burning on the cremation ground. But perhaps the most distressing feeling was looking at the fact that while some of the departed had their dear ones close by, albeit it in PPE Kits, a lot of the departed had absolutely no one as they took their final journey.”

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