Mumbai: We’re happy to announce that IndiaSpend reporter Tanvi Deshpande won the 2023 Redink Award for Excellence in Journalism, given by the Mumbai Press Club. The awards were announced during a ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai on December 2.

Deshpande won the award in the ‘Saving the Environment’ category for her April 2022 story from Nagpur. In a two-part series, Deshpande reported on the health and environmental fallouts of the Koradi and Khaparkheda power plants that have been repeatedly pulled up by the government for polluting nearby areas. Respiratory issues, skin ailments, gastrointestinal issues and kidney stones plague villagers living next to these power plants, we found. Further, the pollution was also affecting their livelihoods.

Environmentalists have hailed the Maharashtra government’s decision to stop dumping coal ash, the waste residue from the Khaparkheda thermal power plant, in Nagpur district’s Nandgaon village but for villagers, it is like winning the battle but losing the war, Deshpande reported in the second part of the series. Many villagers gave up land for the power plant in lieu of a one-time payment and a job for one family member. The jobs are mostly temporary, and pay too little to run the family. Those who still own land are worried about the quality of crops because the ash pond’s location leads to flooding in their village in the monsoons.

Late last month, the Mumbai Press Club announced the list of shortlisted stories for this year’s awards, and two other IndiaSpend reporters made it to the shortlist.

IndiaSpend reporter Nushaiba Iqbal was shortlisted in the ‘Business & Economy’ category for her April 2022 story explaining what the official poverty statistics miss. There are 269.3 million people living below the poverty line in the country, as per official estimates. India moved from only using the calories a person consumes as a measure of poverty to also including the cost of services such as health and education. However, even these estimates assume that these services are widely available to all. Through the story of Chandni Khatoon, a domestic worker in Prayagraj, the story looked at the different methods of calculating poverty in India, how poverty estimates are complicated, and might miss out people who need access to welfare.

IndiaSpend reporter Shreehari Paliath made it to the shortlist in the ‘Human Rights’ category for his April 2022 story that looked at how the children of Rohingya refugees are separated from their mothers. Stateless Rohingya who cross over to India fleeing violence and ethnic cleansing do not have valid documentation. They run the risk of being picked up by police, detained indefinitely and deported to Myanmar, where their lives are at risk, we reported. Children are separated from their parents and legal and financial challenges further aggravate the misery of a persecuted ethnic minority. Paliath spoke with Noor Banoo, a Rohingya refugee in Bengaluru, whose three children have been detained in West Bengal since the past five years.

We welcome feedback. Please write to We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar.