The IndiaSpend Health and Sanitation Fellowships 2015

June 06, 2015


Congratulations to Raksha Kumar and Nitika Saxena for winning the FMP-Indiaspend Healthcare and Sanitation fellowships. Only two were on offer but Indiaspend was kind enough to institute two more ‘half’ fellowships for Rakhi Ghosh and Urvashi Prasad on the recommendation of the jury.  Congratulations to Rakshi and Urvashi as well.

Raksha Kumar is a graduate of the Journalism School, Columbia University and a Fulbright scholar.  She proposes to examine the state of maternity wards in rural districts of three states to find out whether  the cut in healthcare spending by the central government has had an adverse impact on them.  She would also like to examine whether medical insurance is increasing the gap between government and private healthcare facilities.  Her third proposal is on female laparoscopy Vs male sterilisation.

Nikita Saxena is currently an assistant wed editor with Caravan magazine. She is a graduate of mass media from St Xavier’s, Mumbai, and also a Young India fellow of Ashoka University.  Nikita won the Mumbai Press Club’s 2014 RedInk Award for her story on advertising practices of tobacco companies. It was published in the September 2014 issue of Caravan.

Rakhi Ghosh is based in Bhubaneshwar. He is a post-graduate in journalism from Utkal University.  She got the Child Survival Media Fellowship in 2014 from National Foundation of India and Save the Children to work on ‘adolescent, reproductive and maternal health,’ in different parts of Odisha.

Rakhi has sent three proposals including one on menstrual hygiene and open defecation.

Urvashi Prasad is working on a master’s degree in public health at the London School of Hygiene. She previously managed the health, water and sanitation portfolio of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in India.

Our best wishes to all the four winners. We also wish to thank all those who sent in proposals. We got eighteen in all from across the country, including  Kerala, J&K, Odisha and Rajasthan.

We are grateful to our jury members. Dr Srinath Reddy, went through each of the proposals and made detailed comments.  Dr Reddy is a renowned cardiologist and heads the Public Health Foundation of India, which he set up.  Dr Samiran Nandy is a well-known liver transplant surgeon, and is dean of  Gripmer (Ganga Ram Institute for Post-graduate Medical Education and Research),  Delhi.  He has an amazing knack of getting to the nub of an issue and made insightful observations.

The  Foundation for Media Professionals is keen on promoting journalism that makes a difference to our lives. Hence its association with Indiaspend for this fellowship.

Indiaspend specialises in data-based journalism.  For more details visit

We wish to thank Indiaspend’s founder Govindraj Ethiraj for partnering with us.

All those who responded to our offer of fellowship should consider writing for