Ritwika Mitra has been awarded the prestigious Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2022 for her story published in The Wire Science, on climate change’s unlikely effect of increasing child-trafficking in the Sundarban.
Mitra’s story, entitled ‘In the Sundarban, Climate Change Has an Unlikely Effect – On Child Trafficking’ and published by The Wire Science on January 1, 2022, was produced with The Fuller Project, an independent nonprofit journalist organisation that is “dedicated to groundbreaking journalism about women to raise awareness, expose injustice and spur accountability”.
She won in the ‘Grand Prize’ category, whose winners are selected by a jury of international experts – including ICFJ Knight Fellow Hannah Ajakaiye, former Timor-Leste justice minister Maria Ângela Carrascalão and Forbidden Stories founder Laurent Richard.
In her story, Mitra highlighted the devastating effects of climate change in the Sundarban that turned a “self-sufficient agricultural society into a market-based one”, the deficient policies that kept the affected people away from the tools they needed to adapt, and the ultimate rise of a new kind of slavery.
The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize was created by the Directorate-General for International Partnerships of the European Union, and named after Lorenzo Natali, a European Commissioner from 1977 to 1989. It honours “the courage of journalists whose stories shine a light on the common challenges facing our planet and its people”.
Previous winners of the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize include P. Sainath, Chitrangada Choudhury and Umar Manzoor Shah. Each laureate also receives a cash prize of EUR 10,000 (Rs 8.27 lakh).