India Currents wins big at SF Press Club Awards.

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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

The San Francisco Press Club recognized ten writers from India Currents for their writing at an online award ceremony held last month. 

The San Francisco Press Club’s Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards ceremony honors the outstanding work of Bay Area print, TV, radio, and digital media journalists, graphic designers, and photographers, as well as the work of documentary filmmakers and PR materials from nonprofits and corporations. The annual event was hosted online this year. 

Meera Kymal, Srishti Prabha, Kanchan Naik, Nandini Patwardhan, Ranjani Rao, Avatans Kumar, Kalpana Mohan, Monita Soni, Aaryan Ravi, and Svati K.S. all won awards at the 2021 San Francisco Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards. Publisher Vandana Kumar said she was elated to see the press club recognize the hard work that community journalists put into their writing. 

San Francisco Press Club Awards

“This is a very special activity for me – reviewing the stories that we created this past year and short-listing the best ones for the contest,” Kumar said. “Seeing so many community journalists honored for their writings is very gratifying!”

Kanchan Naik and Srishti Prabha won first place for their feature piece “Cultural Norms, A Generational Curse For DV Victims.” The article was the second of a 2-part series discussing abuse and its impact within the South Asian American community. 

Meera Kymal won first place for her feature article “The H-1B Visa is Under Attack. Again!” Her piece unpacked former President Trump’s efforts to go after immigration issues.

Srishti Prabha was also recognized for their story “Delhi and San Jose Have the Same Gray Skies.” Prabha’s article discusses the impact that climate change has had on the Bay Area and issues of environmental racism. 

Youth writer Aaryan Ravi won first place in the Sports Feature category for his story, “Despite the Challenges, I Will Always Be a 49ers Fan.” Ravi’s piece unpacks the San Francisco 49ers’ 2020 performance. 

In the category of “Stories of a Lighter Nature,” Monita Soni won second place for her piece “Back to Square One.” Soni discusses the COVID-19 pandemic in its early days and the impact it has had on her community. 

“Reading and writing for India Currents have taught me to breathe deep, shut the voice of panic and pandemonium created by the pandemic,” she said. “I use my pen with faith to inform, challenge and strengthen a sense of global community in the Indian diaspora.”

Svati K.S. won second place for her piece “Is Dad Doing The Laundry?” The article discusses Mother’s Day celebrations and the role that women took on during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Kalpana Mohan won second place for her article “Foreign Victory, Local Defeat”. Mohan’s article was a commentary on Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 Oscar-winning film, Parasite.

Nandini Patwardhan won second place for her Commentary story “I Will Not Cancel Us!” Patwardhan’s story muses on “cancel culture” and modern-day social issues.  

Avatans Kumar won second place for his Opinion piece “Indian-Americans Must Resist South Asian Identity”. Kumar argues in his article about the South Asian diaspora’s ideas about what the “South Asian Identity” should look like. 

“I am thrilled and honored at being recognized as one of the “Desi Voices” by the esteemed Press Club of San Francisco,” he said. “My appreciation to India Currents for giving me the opportunity to write and to Vandana Kumar for believing in me.”

Ranjani Rao was also recognized with a second-place award for her article, “We Called Them Blessings.” Rao wrote about her childhood and the idea of privilege and luck. India Currents staff said they are excited to see the “amazing work” that IC writers will continue to publish in the upcoming year. “I look forward to reading what our phenomenal writers will submit to us as the year progresses,” IC managing editor Srishti Prabha said. 

Isha Trivedi is a journalism student at George Washington University. She enjoys reading and listening to podcasts in her (limited) spare time.