India scoops lion's share of C'wealth Broadcasting awards

NEW DELHI: India has carried off the lion's share of prizes awarded by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) this year. Infact, the country dominated all other Commonwealth countries to such an extent that the British Council in Delhi hosted a significant prize-giving event today.

The CBA Award for Exceptional News Feature went to NDTV's senior editor Barkha Dutt and Ajmal Jami (camera) for their vivid and daring report on the communal riots in Gujarat.

The CBA Unicef Award for Outstanding Local Children's Broadcasting has been awarded to BBC World Service Trust/Doordarshan and Naco, the Indian AIDS organisation, for a vigorous and pioneering TV campaign on AIDS aimed at young people, which challenged minds and changed behaviour. The eight-member team led by series producer Sonia Chowdhry was honoured.

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2003 has been won by Madhulika Liddle of Delhi, whose story A Morning Swim triumphed over 3,741 entries from around the Commonwealth. She won ?2,000. Her story was inspired by an obscure newspaper report about a small boy who makes a living by diving for coins in the Yamuna River.

India has four other successful short story winners, Usha Rajagopalan from Manipal, Amara Bhavani Dev from Bangalore, Sriparna Saha from Kolkota, and Suchitra Ramadurai from Chennai, all of whom received Highly Commended Prizes of ?100, and all of whom travelled to Delhi for the prize-giving.

The Commonwealth Photographic Awards received more entries from India than any other nation. Although the top prize went to a Canadian, John Lehmann, who won ?2,000 for his photograph of a newly born baby in the arms of its ecstatic parents - interpreting the competition's theme of 'Celebration' - there were eight Highly Commended Winners from India.

M L Barai, Binode Kumar Das, Rajib De, Ashok Nath De, Swapan Mahapatra, Dines Mukherjee, Indranil Sarkar and Debashis Sawoo are mostly from Kolkota, and several of them travelled to Delhi to receive their ?100 prizes.

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition began in 1996 and is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation and administered by CBA.

The Commonwealth Photographic Awards is an open competition for all Commonwealth residents and included both colour and black and white photographs. They are organised by the CBA and the Commonwealth Press Union, supported by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation and sponsored by The Commonwealth Foundation.

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