Civic Lunch: P. Sainath, The People's Archive of Rural India (PARI)

September 28, 2017
12:00pm — 1:00pm ET

P. Sainathveteran journalist on rural affairs, poverty, and inequality in India, will be speaking at the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab on Thursday, September 28 at 12pm.

Former Rural Affairs Editor of the newspaper The Hindu, Sainath has won over 40 global and national awards for his reporting, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s most prestigious prize for Journalism Literature and Creative Communications Arts as well as the Amnesty International’sGlobal Human Rights JournalismPrizeinits inaugural year in 2000. Sainath’sbookEverybodyLoves a Good Drought(Penguin India, 1996), which involved covering 100,000km across India, has remained a non-fiction bestseller and was declared a Penguin Classic. Nobel prize winner, Amartya Sen, has called him "one of the world's great experts on famine and hunger".

Sainath’s talk will focus on his digital archive project – the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI)– and the importance of digitally documenting the complexity and richness of rural India for current and future generations. PARI contains thousands of pieces of audio, video, and text stories about the life, work, and identity of the 850 million people of rural India, together representing 95 different regions, 700 languages and 86 scripts. PARI, whose content comes under the Creative Commons and is free to access, contains a teaching and resource section - in a time when rural reporting is rapidly decreasing in India, PARI serves as a powerful database for other news organizations as well as schools and universities.

About PARI:

“PARI is an undertaking unprecedented in scale and scope, utilizing myriad forms of media in audio, visual and text platforms.One where the stories, the work, the activity, the histories are narrated, as far as possible, as far as we can manage, by rural Indians themselves. By tea-pickers amidst the fields. By fishermen out at sea. By women paddy transplanters singing at work, or by traditional storytellers. By Khalasi men using centuries-old methods to launch heavy ships to sea without forklifts and cranes. In short, by everyday people talking about themselves, their labour and their lives – talking to us about a world we mostly fail to see.”

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