‘Sold goats to buy him a phone’: How 31 youth from 1 Bihar village were nabbed for cybercrime

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: India

Publishing organisation: ThePrint

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-04-02

Language: English

Authors: Desk and Editors.


Award winning journalist with 6 years of experience in reporting India’s most critical issues–unemployment, gender crimes, human rights, politics, and policy.

Born and brought up in a village in Haryana, I fought my way out of the state’s stifling patriarchal set-up to reach the National Capital, becoming the first person to graduate in the family. During my college days at Delhi University, I learnt to wear the lens of English writers to examine the condition of Rural Women. In journalism, I wear both my rural and urban lenses to bring an element of critical intersectionality to my reporting and writing.

Project description:

The story looks at the trend of youngsters from poor families in Bihar’s hinterlands being drawn into the world of cybercrime, with smartphones as their main weapon.

Impact reached:

The story was a part of my #Generationowhere series. How the toxic mix of unemployment crisis,unlimited data and politics is shaping the minds of India’s youth. The series was very well received by the Indian audiences and it created a huge debate on social media.

Techniques/technologies used:

I travelled to remote corners, police stations and villages to weave the story of Indian villages emerging as the hub of cyber crimes in recent years.

Context about the project:

The story is about the hotspot of cyber crimes– how amid the scrubby farmlands of Indian villages, dozens of youth use their smartphones to run a cybercrime enterprise.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

To follow up on the events from the hinterland as that is where 70% of India’s population is living and that is where changing India’s story is.

Project links: