WaterAid India annual Media Fellowship Program

The media fellowship in its second consecutive year aims to create awareness around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues in the country.

Meet the Fellows

Media Fellow

Kabir Agarwal

Kabir Agarwal is a National Reporter at The Wire with a focus on political economy and environment issues. He recently co-authored a book titled, Chasing the Affordable Dream: A Plan To House Mumbai's Millions on the affordable housing crisis in Mumbai and possible solutions towards resolving it. He was awarded the Red Ink Award for excellence in journalism in 2018 in the business and economy category for his reportage on farmer suicide in Uttar Pradesh. 

Media Fellow

Nidhi Jamwal

Nidhi Jamwal is the Environment Editor at Gaon Connection based out of Mumbai. She has been reporting on environment and development issues for last two decades; 12 years with Down to Earth magazine and eight years as an independent journalist with various publications. She has recently completed a series of stories as part of Earth Journalism Network’s Bay of Bengal Story Grants 2019. Last year, she completed two media fellowships — DST-SDC Media Fellowship 2018 for reporting on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Indian Himalayan Region, and IWMI’s Media Fellowship on Informing Change in the Indus Basin (ICIB) 2018. 

Media Fellow

Nivedita Khandekar

Nivedita Khandekar is an independent journalist, who writes on environmental and developmental issues. She has earlier worked with the Press Trust of India and the Hindustan Times before embarking on independent journalism since 2014. She is based in Delhi but travels across India to report from remote locations, the mighty Himalayas being her most preferred destination. She has written extensively on various issues related to water and the Himalayas.

Media Fellow

Parth Meena Nikhil

Parth is a Mumbai based independent journalist working with several media websites including People’s Archive of Rural India and Firstpost. Previously, he was with the Los Angeles Times as their India Correspondent covering subjects like the conflict in Kashmir, 2019 General Elections, and various state elections. He recently documented the agrarian crisis in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region as part of a media fellowship with People’s Archive of Rural India. In 2018, The European Commission honoured him with the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for his work on sugarcane cutters. In 2017, he was awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award for his reporting on farm crisis.

Media Fellow

Pragati Prava Bai

Pragati is an Odisha based independent journalist reporting on various subjects including culture, fashion, health, environment and education with publications like Down to Earth, The Quint, The Pioneer, Orissa Post and web portals like Kalinga TV. She spent seven years as senior sub-editor and features writer with Bhubaneswar-based English daily ‘Orissa Post' and over a year with 'The Pioneer'. Since September 2017, she volunteers in the research, documentation and advocacy wing of Water Initiatives, Odisha (WIO) on conservation of water and developing mechanisms on making cities and rural areas climate-resilient. 

Media Fellow

Rakesh Kumar Malviya

Rakesh Kumar Malviya is a Bhopal based independent journalist. Previously, he has worked with media organisations like Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Rajasthan Patrika and Deshbandhu. He has edited over 12 books on various social issues. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards and fellowships including the National Award from NFI, Gandhian Eco Philosophy Fellowship, Reach TB media Award, Vikas Samvad State Media Fellowship and Excellence Reporting Award on immunisation.

Meet the jury

Anand Pradhan

Anand Pradhan

Dr. Anand Pradhan, a Ph.D in Journalism from Banaras Hindu University, is the Associate Professor of Feature Communications at Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Prior to joining IIMC faculty as Assistant Professor (Hindi Journalism) in 2003, he worked in the News Services Division of All India Radio as Assistant News Editor. He has briefly taught at the Centre for Media Studies.

He tweets as @apradhan1968 

Anuradha SenGupta

Anuradha SenGupta

Anuradha SenGupta is Consulting Editor, CNN-News18. She has created and anchored a variety of shows, discussions and interviews. She currently hosts 'Off Centre', a weekly conversation show and 'Reporters Project', a docu-news feature. She was one of the anchor-editors who set up CNBC-TV18 and is known for her shows, 'Storyboard' and 'Beautiful People'.

She tweets as @anuradhasays

Theme of the fellowship

According to Niti Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index 2018, 21 major cities in India will run out of groundwater, affecting 100 million people by 2020.

Today, India is in the midst of a major water crisis. Close to half the country, about 600 million people, face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.

Urban water is complex & under-reported

Water problems in urban India

As WaterAid India strives towards making clean water accessible for everyone, everywhere, ‘WASH Matters 2019 Media Fellowship’ will encourage selected fellows to document stories on the reality of access to clean water in urban areas.

The stories should highlight under-reported aspects on the theme of urban water. 


  • Publish a minimum of three in-depth long format stories during the fellowship period.
  • Attend an introductory workshop with WaterAid India to understand the theme of urban water. 
  • Travel to minimum two field sites (not necessarily WaterAid India intervention areas) in the country.
  • Each selected fellow will have to sign a detailed Terms of Reference.
  • The stories may or may not be limited to WaterAid India’s interventions but must contribute to the larger dialogue on the theme.
  • The selected candidates will be expected to publish/broadcast long format investigative/ human interest stories, features or photo essays.
  • In case of print or online stories, the stories should preferably be in long format, a minimum of 1,200 words for dailies, 2,000 words for online/magazines. In case of video, it should be exclusive long format content for broadcast platforms (minimum 5-7 minutes each).
  • After the field/site visits, the candidates are expected to share a draft version of their stories with WaterAid India.
  • The fellows must acknowledge the support of WaterAid India when they publish or present their stories elsewhere. Please use the following text - WaterAid India ‘WASH Matters 2019’ Media Fellowship Program.
  • Post the fellowship, the articles/reports become the joint property of WaterAid India and the fellow.
  • Once published, the stories would also be published on WaterAid India’s website www.wateraid.org/in
  • Fellows would be encouraged to promote their stories on social media platforms.
  • WaterAid India has the right to question the deliverables and can stall payment if the fellow has not delivered in line with the expectations.

What's more?

Here is all you need to know about the fellowship

The fellowship will be from July 2019 – March 2020 where fellows will be requested to keep WaterAid India in loop regarding the theme, location and travel required for the stories.

The fellowship is of INR 1,00,000 per fellow. This is inclusive of travel, accommodation, site visit and other miscellaneous costs. The disbursal of the fellowship amount will be in three installments – 30% on being selected as a fellow, 40% on the publication of first two stories and remaining 30% on the publication of the third story (a TDS component of 10% would be applicable on this payment).

  • Fellows will be shortlisted by the jury panel and WaterAid India. 

  • Six fellows will be selected for the final fellowship grant.

  • The list of final six fellows will be put up on our website and they will be informed through an email as well.

  • WaterAid India reserves the right to not award any fellowships if applications do not meet a basic minimum requirements.

  • All decisions taken by WaterAid India will be final.