This grandmother's newspaper reports are changing the lives of villagers in the Nilgiris region
60-year-old Janaki amma is the oldest female reporter for Seemai Sudhi, a community newsletter by the Keystone Foundation for the Nilgiris region in Tamil Nadu.
With the support of her late husband, Janaki amma took up a vocation that changed not just her life, but also those of people around her.
She started reporting more than 10 years ago for Keystone’s monthly newsletter. She travels to neighbouring villages to report for Seemai Sudhi.
The newsletter caters to tribal people living in the villages. The aim is to bring the community together. The newsletter is published once in three months and has eight women reporters. One of them is a 12-year-old girl.
The foundation also a radio channel called Radio Kotagiri that hosts shows on farming methods to healthcare.
Janaki amma does not know how to read or write. She relies on her memory to remember all the news she collects.
She then narrates it to her daughter who writes it down for her. Most of these villages she reports from are inaccessible to outsiders.
However, come rain or sun, Janaki amma makes her rounds to these villages and talks to everyone there. She remembers details like which places need street lights, electricity, or where the roads are in a bad state.
Janaki amma also encourages people to visit a healthcare centre. She acts as a messenger between hospitals and villagers, and keeps a check on people's health.