Support journalism from rural India
Who are we?
- The People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) is a digital journalism platform – an archive of the past, a journal of the present and a textbook of the future.
- We aim to tell the stories of 833 million people in rural India, whose lives and labour, their skills and struggles, get little or no coverage in the dominant news media. Our storIes speak of the extraordinary things ordinary people do, of inequality and indifference, of how policy drives distress, and of survival and strength.
- Our stories are not opinion columns, and neither are they about celebrities or ‘breaking news’. Every PARI story, photograph and film speaks of an everyday person and is reported directly from the Indian countryside.
- When other media do cover such stories, rural Indians are usually represented as just statistics – for example, as data on farm suicides. Who are the human beings these numbers speak of? You will find their stories on PARI – in people’s own voices, reflecting their own realities and experiences. And backed by data, context and rigorous reporting.
What do we do?
- We document lives and livelihoods in the Indian countryside through text articles, photographs and film – from villages that find barely any coverage in other media. PARI publishes stories in around 30 categories, including: Farming and its Crisis, Things We Make, and the Rural in the Urban.
- We document history that vanishes with each passing day – in five years, India will have lost every single one of its last remaining freedom fighters. The few still alive are in their 90s. The present generation knows little or nothing about them. The next one will never set eyes on any of those whose sacrifices brought us freedom. But you can find the stories of our forgotten freedom fighters on PARI, as we locate, document and film as many of them as we can.
- PARI also hosts Resources, a free-to-access and growing library for students, researchers and journalists, with reports and data curated by us for easy reading.
- PARI in Schools: Our content is now used in several schools, colleges and other institutions, as a living and growing ‘textbook’.
How do we do this?
- We cover rural India through immersive fellowships. PARI Fellows travel to specific regions and report at length about the communities they cover.
- The network of Fellows we have built and continue to build reflects the social composition of India. Over time, we plan to have around 100 Fellows – half will be women, and Dalit journalists, Adivasi journalists and those from the minorities will also be represented equitably.
- Several stories are shot and written by volunteers, who include journalists, students and researchers.
- Our Fellows have received numerous prestigious national and international awards, including the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, the Laadli Media Award, and the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize, for their stories on PARI.
What we propose to do over the next year
- Award five fellowships that continue to cover the countryside in ways not done so far by the dominant media.
- Continue to cover critical but barely-covered stories like the escalating drought, the agrarian crisis, and displacement. And also keep documenting rural India’s skills and vanishing livelihoods.
- Document endangered languages and the communities who speak them. To start with, we hope to document at least 15 languages from regions across the country.
- PARI sends its journalists to schools to speak with students about rural India, a countryside many urban students know little of. We have started this in Bengaluru, and plan to expand to schools in Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai this year.
Why we need your support
- PARI is run by the non-profit CounterMedia Trust.
- We do not take money from large corporates or the government.
- We depend on donations from foundations, institutions and CSR funds – anyone who sees value in independent media.
- And we depend on donations, small and big, from individuals.