Stella Paul, a Hyderabad based journalist had started blogging activity in 2011. But she did not realize that this constant exercise of trying to get herself heard would go on to make her travel across continents to document the stories of hundreds of people and also win her accolades. Last week Stella won the Best Environmental Blogger of the year at the Asian Environmental Journalism awards at Singapore. It was her second consecutive win as last year she had received the award for best story.
“It was an article which highlighted how commercial sex trade in Hyderabad is booming because thousands of women from farming families in rural AP and Telangana were migrating to the city and becoming a part of sex trade after loss of livelihood due to drought and crop failure” she says.
Stella who did her graduation in World Literature and a post graduate diploma in Environmental Law has reported from countries in Asia Europe the US and Africa. “Once I met a man in Mongolia who had single handedly tried to stop an advancing desert. It makes you believe that there are ordinary people doing extraordinary things that can inspire millions across the world” she says. Thanks to one of her recent stories in Hyderabad a woman was freed from bonded labour.
Stella who shifted in the city for work six years ago [ she hails from North East India] feels that water is the biggest area of concern in the Twin Cities because of the rampant drilling of bore wells and extraction of groundwater. She says “ unless we have a strict policy on groundwater extraction the states will soon have a disaster too severe to handle” . In spite of constantly delving into serious issues Stella says that she is still a child at heart. And her favourite pastime is watching cartoons on TV or reading comic books. “I love animals so a lot ot time is spent playing with my pet cat or just feeding the neighborhood stray dogs”.
Stella has recently received a media fellowship from the Government of Netherlands and is currently in Amsterdam. “ I am at the Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s studio to explore how I can report on water issue using multimedia tools” she says.
COURTESY HYDERABAD CHRONICLE