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Nidhi Suresh Is A Young Journalist Covering Human Rights And Gender Equality

Nidhi Suresh is a dynamic young reporter, she covered Kashmir for a year. She is now focused on reporting on issues pertaining to human rights and gender equality.

“Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world.” Jane Goodall. 

Nidhi Suresh is a dynamic young reporter. After completing her Bachelors degree in 2017, she reported in Kashmir for a year. She then went on to complete her Masters in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University, Netherlands.

She has also served as the programme officer at the Delhi-based human rights research and advocacy organization Quill Foundation. Nidhi is now focused on reporting on issues pertaining to human rights and gender equality.

I caught up with Nidhi over a long telephone chat, and she shared some of her observations and learnings with me. Here are excerpts from my conversation with her.

  • When did you realize that writing was your true calling?

Writing was something I always enjoyed. I must have been around 12 years old when I started writing. In fact, I even managed to once write a creative biography of my own life.

Of course, there was also a time when I aspired to be a dancer. I took a year off to pursue a diploma in dance. One thing I was always clear about was that I was not interested in the age-old format of classroom education.

  • Your focus is clearly on human rights and gender equality. What inspires you to want to make a difference to these causes?

Actually, inspiration isn’t the correct word. It’s more a combination of experiences and the ardent need to do something. Every woman I know has had some instance where she has felt threatened, exploited.

The figures aren’t encouraging, and I want to make my contribution. The energy with which I approach these issues comes naturally to me.

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  • What is the one thing that you think is largely responsible for this situation?

Communication.

There is a huge problem with the way we talk. Both to the boys, and to the girls. There is a communication problem at every level. Home, police station, hospital and on.

  • Do you think an inbuilt issue of patriarchy is largely responsible for the gender inequality which has become an all pervasive problem?

Absolutely! Patriarchy also ties into communication. The constant sense of shame that women grow up with is so damaging.

Rape is one aspect of the story. You have to consider the stigma as well. There are multiple layers to think about.

Several times, the perpetrators of a crime may not have any criminal record, and then we think what drove them to commit the crime. It’s a sense of entitlement and patriarchy, and access to technology worsens it. It’s a toxic, lethal mix.

  • Does the nature of your work, impact your own state of mind?

It does, for sure. To do this job, I have to take care of myself. There’s a generation of reporters who don’t want to talk about mental health. I go to therapy.

I’m reporting disturbing news. It’s been a challenge for the men in my life too. I often get nightmares.

When I think about having a child, I shudder to think how I will explain the world to her or him.

  • Is there a particular story you’d like to share with us which has had a positive and encouraging outcome?

The story that I have recently reported on about the son nailing his mother’s rapists after all these years. The woman was a very young girl when the incident happened, and her son convinced her to speak up after 30 years.

Speaking up is never easy, especially if you look at our systems. After the Nirbhaya case, laws have progressed, but implementation is a big problem. This story shows that there is value in speaking up.

  • An issue that you think is under discussed?

The idea of justice. Laws on paper are progressive. The process of justice however is a completely different thing.

It can take years and years, sometimes the victim passes away, and the parents keep fighting for justice.

They lose money, sleep, peace. It’s exhausting. To put a panel through hell for ten years and then give justice, what does it mean?

This year marks the 10th year since Nirbhaya. We should ask ourselves. What has changed?

A huge thank you to Nidhi Suresh for agreeing to this interview and sharing her valuable insights and learning with us.

There is much food for thought here, and we hope the world becomes a better, safer and more inclusive place for all human beings.

Image source: Nidhi Suresh, Newlaundary, edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Rrashima Swaarup Verma

Rrashima is a senior corporate analyst with over 20 years of experience in the corporate sector. She is also a prolific writer, novelist and poet and her articles, stories and poems are regularly published in read more...

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