This was the 9th Newsmakers Achievers’ Award, where many prominent personalities such as politicians, actors, singers, comedians, directors, doctors, social activists, and dancers were awarded and felicitated. Most honest veteran Congress leader B. J. Khatal-Patil was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Bappi Lahiri and Dr. B. L. Gaur were also felicitated with the same. Few other popular faces from the glamour world were Kailash Kher, Makarand Deshpande, Rohit Roy, Bharti Singh, Swwapnil Joshi, Rajeev Nigam etc. were honoured this year.
We started this award in 2010 with an intention to acknowledge people, who have contributed to this nation and society through their respective adeptness but never get acknowledged. In today’s scenario, award events have become purely commercial. Organisers usually pick the awardees that are popular and resourceful with a strong PR-ing ability and marketable values. The recipients of the awards are those who can pull crowds, media, and advertisements for the media house. In such commercial world of awards, we wanted to establish the uprightness in felicitating people.
Apart from appreciating the ‘biggies’, we have been a trendsetter when it comes to acclaiming people from the same fraternity. Many journalists and editors from various media houses were awarded here. Looking at the acknowledgement from other media publications, awardees, and the readers, it can be now said that we have survived with an aim of the parallel journalism and media.
It takes a lot of hard work to nominate awardees. We take extra precaution in nominating deserving candidates without any influential activity. We have stopped taking any sponsorship because they influence to select their choice of celebrity. When we started this award in 2010, we accepted the sponsorship. However, we realised that our ethics are getting compromised by fulfilling the demands of the sponsors. We take lots of effort in suggesting awardees and sponsors give their recommendations that don’t fit into our parameters or are undeserving candidates. Then, there was also the demand from the sponsors that, one of his members will present awards to the awardees of his choices.
Now, when jury members are recommending an honest IPS or IAS officer and afterward when they are awarded from the hands of some corrupt businessman then the whole gesture disfigures the event. Subsequently, we decided to not allow any such unwanted cravings and temptations. Every now and then, money makes you negotiate over things which are not worth. Arranging funds for such an event is always challenging. However, proper planning and dedication are the solutions for everything.
Furthermore, the awardees are too demanding sometimes. They ask for business class airfare, five-star hotel’s stay and even some demand tickets for their family, friends, and staff too. Some ‘great’ personalities even demand money to mark their presence. We come across peculiar circumstances and interrogations too. However, through this, you get to know who’s who. I should also mention that, how can we forget the ‘good souls’ who voluntarily support us and make this event a grand success, and I should confess that because of them we are here today.
It’s been an agony and accomplishment, but the fact is that we completed one more year towards this journey. Many people are awarded by us, many come to the event every year without fail. Many are with us and some on their way. Since our entry into the market, we have always been trialling with things to set new trends in media and keep parallel journalism alive. Holding a Publication house or Newspaper is no more a privilege of a Capitalist. What matters is that you need to have courage, competences and a strong pen in hand. There is no substitute of hard work and focussed sincere efforts. For me, it has been quite an action-packed journey and a fanciful learning process.
On this occasion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all my readers and the people who actually shaped me as a journalist and helped me to grow. Also to all my colleagues who let me explore. My team includes a small group of young and untested inquisitive brains, with some already mentored while some yet to explore. My office helper to the chief desk, play their role perfectly in making “Afternoon Voice” an achievement.
“Your Paper, Your Voice”.
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