Bangladeshi blog Infolady wins Global Media Forum Award

This year’s Global Media Forum Award went to the project Infolady from Bangladesh. Finalists in the category addressed issues tied to the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2013, which looks at “The Future of Growth – Economic Values and the Media.” The Infolady project helps equip women with digital cameras, mobile phones and solar-powered laptops to travel by bike to rural areas and answer questions related to health, agriculture and development. “Infoladies brings life-saving information about health, education and a number of other services to the poorest people in Bangladesh,” the jury said.

Chinese author, columnist and blogger Li Chengpeng won the Best Blog award at The Bobs 2013, which awards the best in online activism. Other honors from the international jury for the contest held by Deutsche Welle went to projects from Morocco, Togo and an international website.
A typical INFOLADY is a trained young woman, who uses a bicycle to travel about five to ten kilometers a day and offers variety of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based services and other services at the door-steps of the community she lives in. The INFOLADY carries a range of ICTs with her. She acts as a human interface to the community with the World Wide Web and other information portals.? She carries a netbook computer with webcam, digital camera, and ?mobile phone with internet connectivity and a headphone whereby she can record problems, download information, connect to experts and find solutions to agricultural, health and development questions that community members might have.

She carries health related equipment like a scale, blood pressure machine, blood group testing kit, pregnancy test kit, blood sugar testing kit etc. The INFOLADY serves as the credible trust agent to thousands of women.? She visits them regularly as and when required. She is supported with a range of offline and online knowledge and useful information for families. INFOLADIES offer services to various target groups; pregnant women, farmers, children, adolescent girls. Through various ICTs and offline formats, INFOLADIES offer specific information and communication services, which provide crucial actionable information related to farming, specific agricultural inputs, health, education, legal aid, job search and more. The INFOLADY also supplies contraceptives, hygiene napkins and consumer products to women, who never visit shops (for social and cultural reasons). Infolady is assigned for each former ward of Union Parisad or each ward of Municipality/City Corporation.

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

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