Gaon Connection is India’s first comprehensive rural media platform whose work spans across print, video, digital, training and ground activation. At the heart of its work is a massive outreach programme (Swayam Project) that is in the process of creating thousands of community journalists -- women, farmers and students -- trained to become the voices of their community.
Our aim is to build the Swayam Project over a period of time into the largest journalism programme of its kind in the world, across states and multiple languages. Our deep part rural reach also gives us the capability to carry out rural activation at unprecedented levels -- its flagship being the weeklong Swayam Festival, a bi-annual with 1,000 rural events in rural areas.
Our TV shows on DD National and Aaj Tak (both called “Gaon Connection”) have broken new ground in creating a window into rural India for urban viewers and have been watched by millions of people. Our website and app are visited by hundreds of thousands of people seeking a unique window into rural India.
The Gaon Connection newspaper, our print arm, is the country’s first professionally run rural newspaper reaching vast media dark areas in Uttar Pradesh and soon expanding to other states. In its print and digital avatars, Gaon Connection showcases inspiring stories from rural areas including from Self-Help Groups and other communities, helps highlight rural issues and gets citizens’ governance-related problems fixed on the ground; and takes to villages useful information that doesn’t reach them, despite a huge hunger for knowledge and information in the rural heartland.
We want to look at rural India as a real place, not as a stereotype as mainstream media does. We want to stick to the principles of well-intentioned, old-fashioned journalism even as we ride the massive scale of the digital revolution, and to be able to change real lives, not just do armchair activism. Our vision is to work across states and languages, creating a “connection” between urban-rural and rural-rural India, the like of which has never been seen before.
We want to redefine the mainstream.