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Blogs help raise raise social issues in Madhya Pradesh

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  • Frederick "FN" Noronha
    Blogs help raise social issues in Madhya Pradesh By Sanjay Sharma, Indo-Asian news service Bhopal, Feb 1 (IANS) Blogs are fast catching on in Madhya Pradesh
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2007
      Blogs help raise social issues in Madhya Pradesh
      By Sanjay Sharma, Indo-Asian news service

      Bhopal, Feb 1 (IANS) Blogs are fast catching on in Madhya Pradesh
      where it provides a platform to activists and officials to voice
      concern on social issues like safe motherhood and children's plight.

      Among the blogs - a user-generated website as is commonly known - is
      www.safemotherhood.blogspot.com. Managed by 'Campaign to Raise Concern
      on Maternal Deaths' in the state, it has activists working to help

      There are other blogs too like newswhichmatter.blogspot.com, which has
      news about the state and opinions of people, and
      mpchildinfo.blogspot.com, which deals with infant mortality and low
      nutrition levels among children.

      Another blog is madhyapradesh.blogspot.com, which provides news and
      views on matters concerning the state.

      The safemotherhood.blogspot.com brings together media reports on
      maternal mortality in the state.

      Maternal mortality at 498 per every 1,000 women is one of state's
      biggest blights. Most of the deaths occur due to pregnancy-related
      complications within a fortnight of delivery.

      "To raise concern about and bring visibility to the issue of maternal
      deaths and factors impacting it, the safe motherhood blog helps to
      bring out issues at the district level that rarely find a place in the
      state level media," said Anil Gulati, a blogger.

      The blog, he said, translates the Hindi news into English or adapts it
      from Hindi and reproduces it on its weblog along with its source.

      Many a time these news stories from district editions can form a story
      for the state editions or alternatively can be a pitch for the big
      story, which also adds to the purpose of the blog, he said.

      Blogs also help to give expression to one's creative challenge, added
      Gulati, who has come to be regarded as blogman of Bhopal. He is a
      regular contributor to some of the blogs.

      "Some blogs have been able to raise concern on issues like maternal
      and child deaths in Madhya Pradesh," said Sachin Jain, who heads a
      media advocacy group, Vikas Samvad, in Bhopal.

      For him it is a good advocacy tool. "Blogs also take up issues which
      would have remained invisible otherwise. They help to bring the plight
      of people of the 'other India' into focus," he claimed.

      Blogs and citizen journalists are part of newer trends in engaging
      people and making their voices heard. But do they make any difference?

      "They may not be too effective today but they have the potential to
      complement other forms of journalism one day," said P.P. Singh of
      Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism.

      "These new technology tools can play a major role in reaching out to
      people with more transparency as they are not bound by present day
      media constraints, and thus serve the purpose more effectively," he

      Other blogs that have become popular in a short time are
      bhopal.blogspot.com and bhopal.wordpress.com. There is also a
      Persecution Blog, which shares news and information about the
      Christian community
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