DM Foundation Announces Winners of Aster Media Awards 2016

Dubai, United Arab Emirates-Monday 30 May 2016 [ AETOS Wire ]

Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter at Khaleej Times and Anand Raj, Features Editor at Gulf News, have been declared joint winners in the International-GCC category of the Aster Media Awards, instituted by the DM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of leading GCC and India private healthcare service provider, Aster DM Healthcare.

Saseendran’s award-winning story championed the cause of empowering thousands of disadvantaged workers whose jobs were at stake in the GCC, published in Khaleej Times in July 2015. Anand’s feature, in the November 6, 2015 issue of Gulf News’s Friday Magazine examined the transformation of a neglected government school into one of the best in the country, owing to the intervention of a Dubai-based businessman hailing from Kerala.

The National-India category award was shared between Sarika Malhotra from Business Today and Manoj Sharma from Hindustan Times. Sarika’s story addressed child labor in India, while Sharma’s story was about a young girl who’d picked rags that went on to become the Editor of a tabloid ‘Balaknama’. The jury recommended a special mention for a story by Aasheesh Sharma and Asad Ali (Hindustan Times) for highlighting the cause of women’s empowerment.

Sinoj Thomas from Manorama News received the Regional-Kerala award for his outstanding story about a young tribal widow in Wayanad, who manages to survive and feed her children with left-over food from a school mid-day meal program, putting the spotlight on poverty among socially deprived tribal communities.

The GCC winners will each be given a citation and share a cash prize of AED 50,000; the National winner receives a cash award of Rs 10 Lakh; and the Regional winner a cash award of Rs.5 Lakh. Rewarded for socially impactful journalism within the GCC and India region, the International-GCC award category is dedicated to the fond memory of Shri PV Vivekanand, former Editor of Gulf Today,UAE.

Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare and Founder of the DM Foundation said: “We believe that mainstream media has a critical role to play in setting the agenda for building incremental social capital, and we hope by instituting the Aster Media Awards, more journalists will take up areas of reporting, which can produce social impact”.

The jury for the inaugural Aster Media Awards was chaired by Shri. Venu Rajamony, Diplomat and Scholar, Press Secretary to the Honorable President of India; Shahnaz Pakravan Ovey, businesswoman and former journalist with global media outlets: BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera and Channel 33; Rajrishi Singhal, former journalist and Senior Fellow in Geo-economic Studies at Gateway House and Indian Council on Global Relations; and Rahul Sharma, former journalist and currently President of Rediffusion Communications.

Jury Chairman, Venu Rajamony said: All these stories demonstrated the one factor that the whole jury was looking for - quality and impact, and that’s what makes them the winners.”


 Aakash Roy, +971-4-4546001

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Aster Media Award (Photo: ME NewsWire)

Aster Media Award (Photo: ME NewsWire)

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