Shimla: With a motive to encourage media persons to write on developmental issues, State Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today conferred ‘Award for Developmental Journalism’ for the year 2009, upon nine journalists of the state in a prestigious function organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations at Peterhoff.
National level award carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 50,000 was awarded to Charanjeet Ahuja, Special Correspondent, Financial Express for his story ‘Himachal Looks to Strengthen Panchayati Raj’. Among the state level awards, first position was won by Munish Sharma, Bureau Chief, Pahali Khabar for his story ‘Poly House Se Badalane Lagi Kisan Ki Zindgi’ and was awarded a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 40,000. Second prize was given to Rachna Gupta, Bureau Chief, Dainik Jagaran for her story ‘Padhai Ke Saath Kamai Bhi’ carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 25,000, Archna Phull, Bureau Chief, Daily Post who was then in Hindustan Times, for her story ‘Aging Shimla Greens to Get New Lease of Life’ published in Hindustan Times, carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 25,000 and Ashwani Sharma, Special Correspondent, Indian Express was also bracketed for second best story, but he did not participate in the award ceremony function. Third Position among the state level award was won by Sunil Sharma, Bureau Chief, Divya Himachal, for his story ‘Badal Fatane Se Har Saal Bahate 100 Crore’ carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap and a cash prize of Rs. 20,000.
In the District level awards first prize was given to Ajay Thakur, Correspondent, Dainik Jagaran for his story ‘Mitti Main Hunar Seekh Rahe Haathon Mein Kalam’, carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 25,000. Second prize went to D.R. Saklani, Correspondent, Divya Himachal, for his story ‘Lupt Ho Rahin Vanya Praniyon Ki Durlabh Prajatiyan’, carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and cap with cash prize of Rs. 15,000 and the third prize went to Sunil Rana the then Correspondent, Dainik Jagaran, for his story ‘Bas Ek Patthar Uchhala Tha Tabioyat Se’, carrying a citation, Himachali shawl and a cap and a cash prize of Rs. 10,000.
Addressing the ceremony, Chief Minister congratulated all the award winners and thanked them for the contribution they had been making towards highlighting the initiatives and achievements of the state government in right perspective and educating the society about the same. He said that media happens to be the fourth pillar of democracy and was responsible for mold the public opinion. He said that he himself believed in constructive criticism as this gives an opportunity for taking corrective measures.