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Stella Paul

Stella Sumita Paul is a multimedia journalist with ten years of experience as a reporter, editor and director. Her expertise includes environment and development. She reports independently to several media outlets, including ‘Planet Earth’ environmental magazine. She lives in Hyderabad, India.

Journalism by Stella Paul

I am committed to blog on

12/14/2012

Mary Madiga’s blogs aimed at a global audience have made people listen in her own state for the first time.

Thanks to Panos, I am now seen and heard

12/06/2012

Bhan Sahu, Indian social activist describes how her blogs for Panos have inspired her son to help stop migration from her village.

Gender equality starts at home

09/04/2012

What’s the best way to engage young people in social movements and politics? Bhan Sahu explains the small steps helping to create a new generation of leaders who want to change the system from the bottom upwards.

The village women who dare to bring change

08/22/2012

Bhan believes you can’t wait for the government to change society – change needs to start with individuals. She tells us about three ordinary women who are challenging traditions in their villages.

Seeking a new state for the powerless

08/16/2012

“We have no land, no education and little power to make decisions. So, we don’t have a voice.” In her own words, our blogger Mary Madiga explains why she has joined a movement fighting for a new state: Telangana.

‘Land and natural resources must belong to the people’

07/18/2012

Villagers take part in a non-violent march to demand their rights to land and resources - Ekta Parishad

In her latest blog Bhan Sahu tells us about a non-violent civil resistance movement, inspired by Gandhi, which aims to bring about social and land reform in India.

Change comes when we break the silence

05/16/2012

Bhan recording a woman's story - Stella Paul | Panos London

Citizen journalism and knowledge-sharing can make an impact, and Bhan’s work shows it. She blogs about how she helps people in remote conflict areas, who often can’t read or write, use the internet and mobile phones to make themselves heard.

Being jailed made me into a leader

05/11/2012

A meeting of the Telengana Mahila Mahajena Samakhya (All Dalit Women’s Association of Telengana) - Stella Paul | Panos London

Looking back over how she became the activist she is today, Mary Madiga is proud to be a Dalit – “people who are broken in body, but not in spirit”.

Our government has chosen power plants over paddy

04/30/2012

Farmers in Janigir Champa who are about to lose their land - Stella Paul | Panos London

Bhan Sahu blogs about a new campaign she is organising, helping those who are being displaced from fertile farmland to make room for 34 thermal power plants.

We are fighting a deep-rooted system of exclusion

03/29/2012

A Dalit woman reads the programme at the 2006 Vanangana conference in Chitrakoot. Vanangana, a women's group dedicated to human rights issues, receives strong support from the Dalit community - Ami Vitale | Panos Pictures

Mary Madiga blogs about how she became involved in politics and her dedication to democracy.

The uncounted people: waste-pickers of India

03/21/2012

Woman picking over burning piles of rubbish on the edge of Mumbai's biggest slum, Dharavi, a thriving mix of poverty and enterprise that is home to over one million people - Mark Henley | Panos Pictures

It would be hard to call it a “living” but waste-picking allows Chinnamma to pay the Rs 1,500 monthly rent on her hut in a nearby slum. Without it she would be evicted. However, her means of survival is now under threat.

Leadership is sometimes not an option, but a duty

03/12/2012

Raghunathpur - Mary's village in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh state in India where she became the first Dalit girl to go to school - Stella Paul | Panos London

Our new blogger Mary Madiga, who was the first Dalit girl in her community to go to school, reflects on changing religion and being educated when social stigma was pushing against her.

Meet Mary Madiga – our new Dalit blogger from India

03/07/2012

Mary Madiga, a Dalit activist from India - Stella Paul | Panos London

Meet Mary Madiga as the newest contributor to our Voices from the Ground blog. Mary Madiga, 39, is a Dalit social activist in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state in southern India.

Right to live: a community-led campaign in the making

03/02/2012

Two women taking part in the community consultation - Stella Paul | Panos London

When many people are being forced to migrate into cities to find work, Bhan Sahu has been helping rural Indian communities work together to challenge corruption and make the most of government employment schemes in their own villages.

Fight for justice pays off for girl injured in crossfire

02/06/2012

Bhan talking to an elderly village woman in Nagrabeda - a village where Maoists are very active. Despite many challenges, somewomen in the vilage have now started a community welfare group - Stella Paul | Panos London

Bhan Sahu tells us about community relations and how she keeps in contact with the people in surrounding villages. By keeping good relationships, she sometimes hears of impact stories that she was previously unaware of.

The biggest challenge is apathy

01/23/2012

Efforts are on to raise awareness among Dalit and tribal people -mostly women - of Kaudikasa to know and cliam their rights - Stella Paul | Panos London

Bhan returns with a blog for us about social change in rural India and how this can come about by claiming ownership over community affairs.

I am being followed because of my videos

01/13/2012

Bhan's one-room house - Stella Paul | Panos London

“It is the second time in six months that I had been called to the police station. The last time it happened, my landlord asked me to vacate the house immediately, saying he didn’t want any trouble. In the police station they asked me if I knew any Maoists.”

“What women need is economic independence”

01/04/2012

Bhan Sahu

In her first blog, Bhan Sahu tells us about rural entrepreneurs in the Indian village of Vihiri, who are taking their futures in their own hands.

“We, the rag-pickers of Pune, are in big trouble”

12/27/2011

Scavenging for food and anything that can be sold in the Bantella rubbish dump - George Georgiou | Panos Pictures

Rag-pickers, people who sift through rubbish for a living in India, travelled to Durban to take part in the UN climate change negotiations.

Meet Bhan Sahu – our new blogger from India

12/22/2011

Meet Bhan Sahu our new blogger from Chhattisgarh, India where the government is facing an armed uprising by Maoist guerrillas. Bhan works with people from marginalised communities – mostly women.