The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) is pleased to announce that Helvellyn Timungpi has been conferred the Sixth NWMI Fellowship, instituted to support women journalists working in various kinds of challenging situations.
Helvellyn Timungpi, 38, is editor-in-chief of The Drongo Express, in Diphu, Karbi Anglong, a tribal dominated Autonomous Council district of Assam. An MA in history, Helvellyn, also known as Honpi, is a poet, short story and travelogue writer. The Drongo Express is a hyper-local newspaper that focuses on local news and analysis, tribal aspirations and issues. It also covers problems of unemployment, poverty, insurgency, communal clashes, illegal migrant settlements, inter-state border clashes, women’s empowerment and tribal cultural events.
Having worked with The Drongo Express since its inception in 2015, Helvellyn and three other colleagues were, suddenly, given charge of running the newspaper in 2023, after its proprietor declared that he faced a financial crisis. Accepting the challenge to start from scratch without capital, an office, computers or even salaries, the intrepid members of The Drongo Express team say they are struggling to revive the paper so that it continues to remain a source of independent news and analysis and also an important link between the administration and the myriad tribal groups living in the twin hill districts of Karbi Anglong.
The NWMI Fellowship, raised entirely through voluntary contributions from members, consists of a modest monthly stipend of Rs. 10,000, as well as professional equipment, if required. The year-long Fellowship for members also ensures that the recipient becomes part of a nurturing and supportive community of media professionals. Mentoring, including help in the form of contacts with media houses and editors, guidance and skill-sharing whether with regard to pitching story ideas or setting up a viable media venture, is an important part of the solidarity and support extended by the network.
April 1, 2023.