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Portrait Gunjan Sharma, Journalistin, Indien. Gewinnerin des Deutschen Medienpreis Entwicklungspolitik 2013, Region Asien.
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Gunjan Sharma, India

August 13, 2013

For nine years, Gunjan Sharma has been covering the health beat, writing on health policy and exposing violations of the rights of patients and people with disabilities. She has done extensive reporting from India's small villages, where despite the country's economic ascent, the public health system continues to fail the vast majority of people living there. She is now a senior correspondent at India’s largest English-language news magazine, The Week.

Sharma's hard-hitting work has borne fruit in some cases, moving the government to change its policies. Her work has been recognized with awards from both Indian and international press organizations. Sharma has had a long interest in health-related issues, getting her bachelor's degree in biotechnology before moving on to study mass communications and attend the London School of Economics.

Her winning entry, "Damned lives and statistics," exposes the shocking state of India's government-run mental hospitals and reveals how patients there are denied basic human rights. The institutions, which served as jails during the colonial period, lock mentally ill people in tiny, dark, sweltering cells. Often they are beaten and denied food. Since journalists are generally denied access, Sharma went undercover to see the situation first-hand. Her story also points the finger at some family members, who simply dump ill relatives at the facilities, leaving them to a terrible fate.

Link to story: "Damned lives and statistics"

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