Ahead of the state assembly elections in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, this series of stories examined the health injustice to some of the most marginalised people in India.
With a population of over 200 million, Uttar Pradesh is one of the worst states in India as far as access to public health is concerened. However, there is very little reporting highlighting how this human right is denied to a large section of the society. Following this theme, we published six articles, each addressing a distinct crisis plaguing the public health system in Uttar Pradesh.
The most important impact of the series was on the audience. After the stories were published, readers reached out to help the people featured in the stories and we managed to raise lakhs of rupees for them.
Since it was an underreported subject, we ensured it becomes a part of the conversation ahead of a very important state election.
The data used for the stories was both sourced from anonymous sources and available in public domain. But it had to be sifted through to be put into the right context.
I mainly used Google Spreadsheets to make hard hitting points with the data available to me.
Context about the project:
Uttar Pradesh is a state notorious to threatening and hounding journalists for exposing uncomfortable realities. The administration and sources are tight lipped. Even the people on the ground are afraid to talk against the government fearing retribution.
All of these things posed a challenge that had to be conquered.
It included persisten efforts and follow ups. And I had to make best use of the data that I could gather.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
The most important thing we focused on throughout the series was to not lose sight of the human touch. Even though there are hard hitting data points in the series, we always made sure the stories are told through the experiences of people. And that made the series more compelling.