Circa October 2005, CEO Helpage India, Mathew Cherian, through an interview on a popular FM channel with Simply Suparnaa said, ‘There is no media that wants to cover the natural disaster that hit the Kashmir valley. For them (media) there always is a better story with military or militants. Who cares about people trapped in debris, rescue operations by the army or the relief being provided by NGO’s to the marginalised in the world’s most militarised zone?’ 

December 7th 2018, DIG Chhaya Sharma (erstwhile DCP on the Nirbaya case), while receiving the सबेरा  SABERA trophy of CHANGEMAKER said, ‘Thank you SABERA! Usually police persons are not acknowledged for what they do. All of you must believe that there are honest police officers who do their work sincerely and am grateful for this acknowledgement.’ 

These two conversations basically summarise the reason I chose to launch सबेरा SABERA. 

After almost two decades with the media industry and a ringside view of the marketing and advertising fraternity, I am acutely aware of the lowest common denominator that the industry works on, that of sensationalism. Given the media industry is almost always cash strapped, especially the news broadcast (Btvi is the latest to bite the dust with operations shut overnight) and the marketing fraternity looks for empirical data of the media’s popularity, aka TRP. The news media literally resorts to creating ‘soaps’ for prime time consumption. Editorial and op-eds become front page news and the prime news hour is nothing short of a ‘saas bahu’ adaptation of news coverage. Sensationalise news, grab eye balls, show traction numbers and get brands on board to fund operations. 

The saga doesn’t end here, the negative narrative travels across the globe branding India as a ‘Slum Dog’ and Delhi as its ‘Rape Capital’. So much so there is an apprehension for investments to be made in the country. At a micro level, my own sister in Canada refuses to shop online on an Indian portal because ‘they are all cheats’. 

I however, as do many like-minded folks, see stories of triumph, valor and inspiration all around our country, that should ideally find place in mainstream media. There are individuals that rise beyond their circumstances and help impact change in the life of others. There are corporations that continue to support such individuals beyond a mere profit incentive or now even a CSR mandate. There are NGO’s that continue to strive to align and deliver the SDGs by 2030.  That’s why सबेरा SABERA was borne. Simply put to Recognise GOOD!

Last year सबेरा SABERA recognised 17 corporations, 14 not-for-profits and 13 individuals for their contribution in helping the needle move on the road to development. They were acknowledged under three broad categories of Initiative, Entity and Individual Awards and 13 subcategories. including the Change Maker award.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak who received the Lifetime achievement trophy recognising the Sulabh movement and his contribution in changing the lives of women in particular from the Brindavan widows to the manual scavengers, said ‘I feel greatly humbled and honored to receive the SABERA Award. I am grateful to SABERA, especially its Founder Ms. Suparnaa Chadda and its team Members, Hon’ble Shri Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder Naukri.com and Hon’ble Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee for considering me worthy of this high honor. I feel privileged and deeply honored to receive this award in the presence of Hon’ble Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council-PM, Member Niti Aayog and host of other distinguished guests.’

We are working hard to roll out the next edition of  सबेरा SABERA, as likeminded people join to support us. Our partners to amplify GOOD include Dainikbhaskar.com the largest Hindi news website as our digital media partnerJOSH TALKS reaching 200 million across the globe & 20 million in nine regional languages in India as our social media partner, United Nations Global Compact Network India as our SDG partner, On Purpose, a PR consultancy that will help amplify our voice across our social media channels and a National News Broadcaster (Tbc).

सबेरा SABERA Awards & Summit 2019 are scheduled for December 4th with the Jury meeting on November 5th under the aegis of Ms. Vinita Bali, Global Business Leader & former MD/CEO Britannia. It includes Leaders across Social Media, Corporates, Not for Profits, Investors & Consultants. Facebook, Tech Mahindra, Infoedge, NSDC, ESG Investors, Castrol, opASHA, JOSH TALKS, KPMG. Further, conscientious entrepreneurial leaders like Deep Kalra founder MMT will be the keynotes.

All jury members and speakers so far can be accessed here.

While, last year we had a bright young student of Purukul Youth Development Society, Shalini Sharma, from a remote village in Uttrakhand anchor the event. This year we are coordinating with an NGO Kranti, to have a trafficking survivor from the red light district of Kamathipura, Mumbai, to be the face of सबेरा SABERA 2019.

And hey, did I also share that we are a team of work from home Moms who are putting up this event? And also a (then) first year NIFT design student, Sara Baijnath, designed our logo. Proud of my daughter, Sara for helping her mom in all her eccentricities. Wish us luck!

Only a week left to submit entries. For more information, log on to http://simplysuparnaa.com/sabera-2019/

Suparnaa Chadda
Curator at SABERA Awards
Suparnaa Chadda or Simply Suparnaa is a seasoned professional with over 18 years of experience in media, advertising, television, radio, print, events and the World Wide Web. Founder of the Simply Suparnaa Media Network, she documents the wisdom of leaders through the web series #LikeaBoss and curates the award show #SABERA - recognising good.

An avid gender equity activist, she regularly conducts menstrual hygiene workshops. With deep interest in the laws of the Spirit, Suparnaa simply connects the dots between Leadership, Spirituality and doing good!

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