Harshita Rathore

Harshita Rathore

Head of Video Production 

I thought of becoming a journalist out of my desire to be heard. That may sound self-centred but when I started doing journalism in 2019, I found that my desire was not in line with my mission.

Soon after graduating from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, I worked briefly for a project for the Bill Gates Foundation. I also worked with a new media house for more than two years as a multimedia producer and the editorial coordinator.

Although generating empathy had always been the objective of producing stories, a part of me was also seeking to address divisions in our society.

At Newsreel Asia, my vision is to promote respect for human dignity and help audiences cross all the barriers – of gender, caste, class, religion and race – to be able to empathise with each other.

Currently, I am hosting a docu-series called 'The Dinner Table,' which features India's persecuted communities. The Dinner Table was a runner-up at Eppy Awards 2021 in two of the categories: ‘Best collaborative investigative/enterprise reporting’ and ‘Best news or event feature video.’

I can be contacted at Harshita@Newsreel.Asia.

The Lekshays

Episode 6, ‘The Dinner Table’ I November 2022
Video I 32 Minutes 
By Harshita Rathore
Tenzin Lekshay is one of the 30,000 Tibetan refugees living in the town of Mcleodganj in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. His family fled to India with the Dalai Lama, along with 80,000 other Tibetans, following a failed uprising in 1959. In his conversation with the host Harshita Rathore, Lekshay talks about the Tibetan community-in-exile, their culture, their determination to carry on with the non-violent struggle against China and also their hope to one day go back to their homeland, Tibet.

Being Tribal and Displaced

'Letters,' Chhattisgarh I September 2022
Video I 13 Minutes
By Surabhi Singh and Harshita Rathore

Kartam Kosa, a tribal man from the central state of Chhattisgarh, and his family fled their home in 2005, when a fight between Maoist insurgents and the civilian militia Salwa Judum intensified. Kosa was among 55,000 tribal people who left their ancestral homes and found refuge in the forests of neighbouring states. Years later, he writes an open letter to India’s Home Minister, complaining that he and many other internally displaced tribals may have to flee again, this time because the government of Telangana state has demolished some of their homes.

Submerged

MAPPING INDIA, Uttarakhand I August 2022
Video I 11 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan
Sucheta Tomar, a farmer and housewife in Uttarakhand state’s Lohari village near the city of Dehradun, is one of the many residents who have lost their ancestral homes due to the construction of a hydropower project by the state government. Their home submerged in flood water, Sucheta and her husband now live in a classroom of an abandoned school. Hers is one of the hundreds of families that have been displaced by the government’s development efforts without sufficient compensation or land for relocation, she complains in an open letter to the state's Chief Minister.

Women Suffer the Most: Rajasthan State’s Water Crisis

MAPPING INDIA, Haryana  I June 2022
Video I 10 Minutes
By Abhishek Yadav, Harshita Rathore
Few kilometres from the India-Pakistan border, people in Barmer district of the western state of Rajasthan face extreme water shortage. In scorching heat, women in this desert area spend several hours fetching water from the nearest wells. On an average, they walk about 2.5 kms to reach a water source and make many rounds each day. Geeta and Guddi tell us how they are forced to fetch water at the cost of their health and education.

Rahima

MAPPING INDIA, Uttar Pradesh I Feb 2022
Video I 17 Minutes 
By Jyoti Jangra
Sheeraz Ali’s eight-year-old daughter, Rahima, fell ill with a “mysterious” viral fever, which spread like a wild fire among children in Uttar Pradesh state’s Firozabad district in August 2021. In a letter to the district administration, Ali pours out his heart as he narrates what happened after Rahima’s sickness.

Parodesi

MAPPING INDIA, Haryana I MARCH 2022
Video I 14 MINUTES
By Jyoti Jangra
Suman (name changed) was trafficked from Kolkata city to a village in Haryana state to be married to a man. With the sex ratio of 911 females per 1000 males, as per the National Family Health Survey-5 (2020-2021), Haryana has more than 130,000 trafficked brides who come from impoverished parts of India. Locally called ‘Paros,’ which means ‘stolen,’ they are not accepted as members of the family and are grossly mistreated despite the marriage. Can’t they just return to their homes, as they are not physically chained?

Dinner With the Kaurs

Episode 5, ‘The Dinner Table’ I February 2022
Video I 17 Minutes 
By Harshita Rathore, Richard Kujur, Abhishek Yadav
Nirmal Kaur, a Sikh woman, was just 13 years old when she witnessed her father’s killing during an anti-Sikh massacre in 1984 after the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. Thirty-eight years later, the Kaurs continue to fight for justice. Host Harshita Rathore visits the Kaurs to explore what identity-based discrimination and violence have done to their minds and hearts. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

Dinner With the Kerkettas

Episode 4, ‘The Dinner Table’ I February 2022
Video I 21 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Richard Kujur, Jyoti Jangra, Tej Bahadur Singh
Reena Kerketta, one of India’s 6.6 million tribal Christians, is recovering from a severe head injury she sustained after an attack in her home in the tribal-majority Khunti district in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Host Harshita Rathore visits the Kerkettas to explore what identity-based discrimination and violence have done to their minds and hearts. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

Why are Minorities Attacked in India?

INVESTIGATION I December 2021
Video I 21 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Jyoti Jangra, Tej Bahadur Singh

About 200 people barged into a church in Roorkee city’s Solanipuram area in Uttarakhand state on Oct. 3, vandalised its property and beat up Christians, including women. When the Christians filed a police plaint, three people lodged a counter complaint alleging that workers of the church had offered them money to convert to Christianity when they visited the place of worship for prayers. Harshita Rathore, Jyoti Jangra and Tej Bahadur Singh investigate.

Dinner with the Jatavs

Episode 3, ‘The Dinner Table’ I November 2021
Video I 23 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Richard Kujur, Jyoti Jangra
Jawahar Singh Jatav, one of the more than 160 million Dalit people in India, is still recovering from his injuries after he and his family were attacked for drinking water from a tap inside a temple in Rajasthan state’s Bharatpur area. Host Harshita Rathore visits the Jatavs to explore what identity-based discrimination and violence have done to their minds and hearts. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

Trapped Away from Home

Episode 1, ‘Trafficked’ I September 2021
Video I 16 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Jyoti Jangra, Richard Kujur
Two underage girls from India’s eastern state of Jharkhand narrate how they were trafficked from the tribal-majority district of Gumla to the country’s city of Delhi for domestic work.

Dinner with the Kaws

Episode 2, ‘The Dinner Table’ I July 2021
Video I 27 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Ganesh Rajaraman, Abhishek
Fleeing Kashmir in 1990, as over 70,000 other families did under threat from violence by Islamist militants, the Kaw family resettled in the northern India but they still miss their “home.” Host Harshita Rathore explores what identity-based discrimination and violence do to the minds and hearts of members of a community.

Dinner with the Khans

Episode 1, ‘The Dinner Table’ I May 2021
Video I 25 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Surabhi Singh, Abhishek Yadav
Nearly four years after their son was lynched for being Muslim, the Khan family in the northern state of Haryana struggles to cope with the grief while fighting for justice. Host Harshita Rathore explores what identity-based discrimination and violence do to the minds and hearts of members of a community. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)
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