2015-2016 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow
The Hindu, India
Meera Srinivasan is the 2015/16 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. Srinivasan is a senior assistant editor with The Hindu, an English-language daily in India. In her reporting career of nearly 10 years, she has covered public education, urban affairs and development in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and reconstruction and human rights in post-war Sri Lanka.
“I am excited to be part of the Elizabeth Neuffer fellowship – this is a fantastic opportunity for personal reflection on larger themes of human rights and social justice, that are critical to addressing class inequalities and discrimination reflected in vulnerable communities everywhere,” said Srinivasan. “I consider the unique combination of academic learning and professional training valuable at this point in my career. In particular, I look forward to studying the fraught process of the return and resettlement of refugees and their livelihood challenges, and to sharpen my reporting skills in sharing the stories of marginalized communities.”
In 2013 Srinivasan was posted to Sri Lanka, where she spent two years writing extensively on the post-war challenges of an island recovering from a brutal civil war that spanned almost three decades. During her time in Sri Lanka, she travelled across fishing villages in the island’s former war zone, reporting on the conflict of interests between the ethnic minority Tamil communities who are denied their right to pursue a sustainable livelihood and Indian fishermen who have resorted to environmentally destructive bottom-trawling practices. Her investigative reporting on this issue, known in the region as the ‘Palk Bay fishing conflict’ won an honorable mention at The World Media Summit Secretariat in Beijing in the category of Public Welfare Awards for Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries in January 2015.
“As a working journalist in both India and Sri Lanka over the past decade, I have encountered many disturbing realities of gross exploitation and systematic denial of basic rights, which are at best under-reported, and often invisible,” said Srinivasan.
Srinivasan also reported on the plight of formerly indentured laborers working in the famed tea estates of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Her reporting covered issues pertaining to human rights, reconciliation, challenges faced by refugees and returnees, enforced disappearances, and emerging threats to religious freedom.
Following a bachelor’s degree in commerce at the University of Madras, Srinivasan earned a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India. She later pursued a master’s degree in elementary education, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.
Follow Meera Srinivasan on Twitter: @Meerasrini
Louisa Reynolds | 2014-2015 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow