The Press Institute of India (PII), Chennai, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), New Delhi, announced the winners of the PII-ICRC Annual Awards for Best Article and Best Photograph during a virtual programme in November. The theme of the 15th edition (2021) of the awards was Superheroes: Battling at the Frontline in the Time of Crisis. The first prize in the Best Article category was awarded to Anna Isaac, news editor, The News Minute, for her article, ‘Who gets to live? COVID-19 is causing moral distress among India’s doctors’. The second prize was won by Shriya Mohan, assistant editor, The Hindu Business Line, for her article, ‘COVID-19 warriors in need of healing touch’. The third prize went to Tabassum Barnagarwala, The Indian Express, for her article, ‘As September COVID-19 surge sweeps rural Maharashtra, hunt for beds’. The seven journalists in the Special Mention category for Best Article were Shephali Bhatt, senior assistant editor, Mint; Jyoti Yadav, senior correspondent, The Print; and freelance journalists Rakhi Ghosh, Arvind Shukkla, Neetu Singh, Jigyasa Mishra and Farzana Nisar.
In the Best Photograph category Deepak Joshi, photographer, The Indian Express, won the first prize for his picture capturing ‘A unique activity of a female teacher overcoming physical disability during the corona period’. Shashank Parade, photojournalist, Press Trust of India (PTI), won the second prize for his picture titled, ‘COVID-19 positive cases cross 500-mark in Maharashtra’, published in Deccan Herald. Jaipal Singh, photographer, The Indian Express, won the third prize for his picture titled, ‘Climbing trees to access homework – online education in a remote village of Haryana’. In the Best Photograph category, winners of the seven Special Mention prizes were: C. Biju, chief news photographer, Mathrubhumi; E.V. Ragesh, senior news photographer, Mathrubhumi; Muralikrishnan, chief photographer, Mathrubhumi; Abhijith Ravi, photojournalist, Kerala Kaumudi; Salman Ali, senior photojournalist, HT Media; freelance photojournalist Mayank Makhija; and freelance news photographer Parul Sharma.
The first, second and third place winners received Rs 100,000, Rs 70,000 and Rs 40,000, respectively. Special awardees received a certificate and a trophy. Jan Miskoc, head of Regional Delegation, ICRC New Delhi,spoke. Sashi Nair, director, Press Institute of India, Chennai, moderated the programme. The awards ceremony was preceded by an engaging discussion that dwelt on the theme for this year’s awards: Superheroes: Battling at the Frontline in the Time of Crisis. The panel comprised jury members Usha Rai, Mrinal Chatterjee, Desikan Krishnan and Dr Jaya Shreedhar. The awards instituted by the PII and the ICRC are designed to promote and recognise the outstanding work of journalists in the field of humanitarian reporting.