The Karpoor Chandra Kulish International (KCKI) Award for Excellence in Print Journalism - 2009, held at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, was awarded to the team of The New Crusading Guide, a newspaper from Ghana, West Africa, for their stories on Undercover inside Ghana's Madhouse, and Undercover inside the Chinese Sex Mafia. The stories are assessed on team work, ground investigation and impact.
The series of stories was an outcome of seven months of investigation across South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Sweden. The investigation was carried out in the arena of mental health, and its treatment and cure. One of the team members posed as a psychiatric patient to uncover significant issues of discrimination and expose charlatans operating in the field. The story not only exposed the malpractices in the field of mental health and illness, but compelled the authorities to draft a mental health bill in those countries.
The winning team -- Anas Areneyaw Anas, Mary Fianko Akuffo and Selease Kove- Seyram -- received a cash prize of US$11,000, along with certificates, medals and a trophy. Apart from this, seven outstanding stories received a special merit award.
The seven stories selected for merit awards included 'Farzi Khate' from Hindustan, Lucknow, 'Kerala Yatra' from Malayala Manorama, Kottayam, 'Inspired India' from Hindustan Times, New Delhi, '42 Harassed Many in Jail' from The Indian Express, New Delhi, 'The Priest with the Midas Touch' from Deepika Daily, Kottayam, 'Prisoners of Ignorance and Tradition' from La Opinion, Los Angeles, and 'Missing Person of Balochistan' from Daily Jang, Balochistan, Pakistan.
The theme for this year's award was 'Inclusive Development'. Rajasthan Patrika received entries from dailies across the globe. The entries were judged by Gloria Brown Anderson, vice-president, international and editorial development, News Services Division, The New York Times, S Gurumurthy, corporate advisor and journalist, Yoginder K Alagh, chairman, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, and Gulab Kothari, editor-in-chief, Patrika Group.
The award was presented by the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh, at an award ceremony held at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. The ceremony was also attended by B L Joshi, Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
In an official communiqué, Gulab Kothari, editor, Patrika Group, says, "It has been a matter of great pride and honour for the Patrika Group that despite threats, challenges and temptations, Rajasthan Patrika has stood its ground and stayed true to the ideals instilled by its founder Karpoor Chandra Kulish."
For the record, the KCKI award was instituted in 2007, in the memory of Karpoor Chandra Kulish, the founder of Patrika Group. It aims to recognise exceptional contributions by journalists, which have been published in a newspaper, consistent with the theme of the award. Over the years, the KC Kulish Award has had many themes starting from 'Human Development', to 'Terrorism and Society'.
The themes for 2010 and 2011 are 'Crusade against Corruption' and 'Changemakers', respectively.