Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) has announced its annual Journalism Awards for 2014.  ICPA Awards are conferred every year on Christian journalists for their outstanding contributions to different fields of journalism.   Each of these national-level awards consists of Rs 10,000/- in cash, and a Citation. The prestigious awards in different categories are conferred on the recipients at the National Convention of Christian Journalists, held annually. This year, Thozhamai Illam, the Jesuit Retreat Centre, Kanya Kumari, will be the venue of the 2-day national convention scheduled to be held on 24th and 25th, October 2014. Most Rev. George Rajendran, sdb, Bishop of Thucklay, will preside over the award function.

 ICPA’s Fr Luis Carreno Award will be conferred on Reji Joseph, Chief Reporter of  Deepika (Kerala’s premier Catholic  Daily), a seasoned journalist with more than 20 years of experience in reporting. Reji has to his credit already over 50 national and state level awards for his special stories on fisher folk, orphaned children, neglected senior citizens, and the marginalized.  His reports, replete with Christian values and consistently promoting social justice and equality, have often prompted respective governments to take several corrective and remedial measures. The Award was constituted by the ICPA with the support of the Mumbai Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco in fond memory of Fr Luis Carreno, a Salesian missionary who worked in India for several years, himself a renowned Catholic author of his time.

Swami Devanand Chakkungal Award will be conferred on the Hindi Christian Fortnightly, Buland Prajathanthra (Strong Democracy) published from Delhi under the patronage of the Catholic Bishops of North India. Mrs Lucy Gabriel, the present Editor of the Fortnightly, will receive the Award on behalf of the publishers. Devanand Chakkungal Award for Hindi journalists/author or periodical was established in 2001 in memory of Fr Devanand Chakkungal, SVD, a well-known Hindi writer, and a passionate lover and promoter of Hindi Christian literature. ICPA has constituted the Award in association with the Indore Province of the Divine Word Missionaries to which Swami Chakkungal belonged.

SC/BC Special Award 2014, established in association with the CBCI Office for SC/BC, goes to Richard Joseph of Deepka/Rashtra Deepika, Trivandrum Bureau. Richard Joseph has been awarded the SC/BC Special Award taking into account his consistent journalistic efforts in promoting the cause of the people of Schedule Caste/ Backward Class origin. Of special significance is his series of reports published in Deepika about the children from the tribal settlement of Eeyakode in Kerala, who dropped out of schools, which went unnoticed by the education ministry for many years. His reports prompted the then State education minister to order immediate action, and get the children back to school.                      — Fr Alfonso Elengikal


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