The Women of Khabar Lahariya

By Sonal Nain, 6 Mar 2022

Kavita Devi and Meera Devi, the women of Khabar Lahariya, are two inspiring and powerful women who run the newspaper which challenges popular notions about what journalism should be. The newspaper was founded in 2002 and is presently competing for the Oscars in 2022.

The newspaper questions traditional gender depictions amid the violence that female journalists encounter. The Khabar Lahariya team is made up of women from marginalized and underrepresented communities, with various levels of literacy.

It’s been a 20-year long road filled with struggle and trolling. Kavita Devi, who was married when she was 12, was illiterate at the time. However, as she grew older, she received her education at the centre in her village becoming the village’s first woman to do so. She discussed the difficulties she encountered while pursuing an education.

“I had to fight with my family just to get an education. I never thought I would become a journalist.”

Meera Devi, on the other hand, has always been intrigued by technology.

“When I first started working at the newspaper, the operator would come in to help with production. I wanted to touch the computer, but they would say I might damage it.” 

But, her curiosity and determination pushed her to learn by herself. She became acquainted with the foundations of computers and the internet over time, teaching other ladies who were eager to learn but lacked the opportunity.