Jessica Tirado

Jessica Tirado (Jagaran Media Center – JMC): Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science at the State University of New York at New Paltz. After university, Jessica volunteered in Rwanda with survivors of the 1994 genocide. After returning from Rwanda, she volunteered with the Darfur People’s Association of New York, assisting refugee families. Jessica then worked in northern Thailand with a Thai NGO that worked on human rights in Burma, and was part of the disaster relief response to Cyclone Nargis in May 2008. At the time of her AP fellowship, Jessica was studying for a Masters degree at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. In the summer of 2007, she participated in NYU’s overseas study program at the United Nations Offices in Geneva. She also served as the Coordinator for Rock to Save Darfur’s major fundraising concert in 2008. After her fellowship, Jessica wrote: “I now view discrimination as a much more urgent problem than I'd previously perceived it to be. I've also gained an enhanced awareness of the importance of marginalized communities in leading their own NGOs and movements, rather than relying on others to advocate on their behalf. This experience has been very humbling.”

Profile: Denesh Harijan, Radio Jagaran

26 Aug

Denesh Harijan

A second-year bachelor’s degree student, Denesh Harijan works as a reporter in the news and human rights departments at Radio Jagaran. After having grown up in circumstances of extreme poverty, he is the only person in his entire village to pursue a college education. An affable polyglot, Denesh is fluent in Nepali, English, Hindi, and two local Terai languages.

Denesh developed an interest in human rights advocacy after witnessing firsthand, as a child, the range of problems facing Dalits in the Terai area: child marriages, little to no access to education, abject poverty, and severe abuses against the lower castes. As a Dalit, he was treated differently by teachers while in primary school. His teachers, traditional observers of “untouchability” practices, often would not let him touch desks or books, would instruct other students not to touch him, and would punish him severely if he intentionally or inadvertently disobeyed such draconian commands. Reflecting on the humiliation and pain caused by his experiences growing up, Denesh focuses much of his reporting on abuses against Dalit schoolchildren.

Denesh endeavors to reach out to communities whom are generally excluded from mainstream media due to language barriers. He conducts several of his programs in local (non-Nepali) Terai languages to ensure that all stakeholders are afforded the opportunity to be informed, and to participate in, discussions regarding urgent community issues. As a result of his noteworthy contributions to inclusiveness in media, Denesh’s radio programs tend to generate the highest numbers of listener responses at Radio Jagaran.

Posted By Jessica Tirado

Posted Aug 26th, 2009

1 Comment

  • Olga Piece

    November 22, 2009


    What a facinating blog. I’ve bookmarked it and added your feed to my RSS Reader

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *