Ms Soma Basu is a senior journalist based out of New Delhi, India. She is an investigative reporter and specializes in development stories. In 2011, she won the Young Environment Journalist Award instituted by Centre for Media Studies and Panos South Asia for her stories on effect of climate change on Sunderbans and coverage of cyclone Aila. In 2012, she won the competition on best published articles on “Reporting on the fate of victims of armed violence” organized by the Press Institute of India and the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2012 for her stories from Maoists areas of Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal. In 2013, she was awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco and UNCA Global Prize for coverage of Climate Change by the United Nations general secretary Ban Ki Moon for her coverage of floods that ravaged the state of Uttarakhand and claimed more than 10,000 lives. In 2015, she was shortlisted for Kurt Schork Memorial Award for her investigative piece on how the forensic evidences collected during the Bhopal Gas Tragedy were destroyed. She also received fellowships from national and international organizations to research and write on Forest Rights Act, Hunger and Malnutrition, Maoist issues in West Bengal and state of the rivers in our country. She has written screenplays for documentaries and also co-authored a book.
From the night of June 16 till June 18, 2013, Uttarakhand suffered one of the deadliest disasters in recent history. 5,500 lives were lost and government suffered infrastructural damage worth Rs 50,000 crore. Down to Earth revisited the state after 1 year to see what steps have been taken by the government to rehabilitate the people who lost their home and hearth in the disaster.
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