Mint has won three prizes in the 5th edition of the Ramnath Goenka awards for excellence in journalism. The awards, instituted by the Express Group, recognized outstanding journalism in the print and broadcast media in 2009. Mint won the awards in the categories Uncovering India Invisible for a five-part series on industrial safety by Maitreyee Handique, Environmental Reporting for a three-part series by Samanth Subramaniam on the decline of the Ganga and for Commentary and Interpretative Writing for a series called Bharat Shining done by Mint reporters on how Indian companies are trying to tap the boom in rural demand. The Ramnath Goenka awards, named after the late founder of the Express Group, recognize outstanding journalistic work that adheres to the highest ethical standards.

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Industrial Safety ( Uncovering India Invisible )

By Maitreyee Handique

Conspiracy of silence obscures numbers

Clearing up: A 25 September photo of rescue workers at the site where a power plant chimney collapsed. The chimney was being constructed at a Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd facility at Korba in Chhattisgarh. Gurinder Osan / AP

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India’s work sites unsafe, accident-prone

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Silicosis, the curse of Khambhat

Khambhat, Gujarat: Mukesh Chaganbhai, 34, is dying. There’s sand in his lungs from years of cutting and polishing the agate stones that go into everything from junk jewellery to landscaped gardens. Silicosis struck him and wife Sheetal, 30, a year ago. ( Click here to read full story )

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Damage done, but damages stay unpaid

Vadodara: Radheshyam Soimi Kahar has been battling the Employees’ State Insurance Corp. (ESIC) for 10 years for compensation. That would help supplement the Rs1,500 a month he gets as a watchman for the municipal department in Vadodara. ( Click here to read full story )

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India needs umbrella law for safer workplace

Ankleshwar, Gujarat: Ankleshwar is a town on the Vadodara-Surat highway, a well laid out grid that’s home to the industrial units of a bunch of big corporate names. There are about 5,000 plants of various sizes in the town, making it one of Asia’s largest hubs for the chemicals industry. ( Click here to read full story )

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Unholy Waters ( Environmental Reporting )

By Samanth Subramanian

Varanasi’s crusader gets his chance

Pollution check: Sewage from an urban population that has risen from a million in 1991 to 1.7 million flows into the Ganga at Varanasi. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint

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Ganga reels as Varanasi spews sewage

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Cleaning Ganga | The monumental decline of a great river

Varanasi/New Delhi: For four generations before him, the priests in V. Krishnamurti’s family practised in their profession’s supreme headquarters—in Varanasi, on the banks of Hinduism’s holiest river. So understandably, Krishnamurti—rotund and ordinarily cheerful—wants ardently to believe in the purity of his beloved Ganga. “But now I get visitors who are reluctant to bathe in the river—they ask me if there’s some cleaner spot, on another ghat, but there isn’t," he says with sadness. “I know fewer Varanasi families use the water to cook and drink." The irony has not escaped him: The Ganga, cleanser of humanity’s sins, is in desperate need of cleansing itself. ( Click here to read full story )

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Bharat Shining

EID Parry’s sugar fix

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Views | Sustaining the rural boom

Even as stock markets plummet, companies nurse forex losses, profits wilt and jobs are cut, rural consumers continue to buy soaps, tractors, mobile phones, shampoos, packaged food, etc. ( Click here to read full article )

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How SBI tracks the rural fingerprint

Backyard banking: Rebka (right), who helps set up zero-balance accounts at SBI for Kothlapur residents, runs biometric identification checks on customers before handing over the money due to them. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint

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Bharti’s cellular theory of growth

Olhanpur, Bihar: Until about three years ago, Nizamuddin Ansari, 65, a retired head clerk from the Indian Railways? mail service, spent most of his days on the verandah at home. The monotony of watching over his courtyard as the women of his family went about their household chores would be broken by the occasional visitor or a money order from his sons employed in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Then, the small plot of unused land he owned next to his house got a celebrity tenant: Bharti Airtel Ltd. ( Click here to read full story )

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Reading ‘Hindustan’ in Bihar

Raghopur, Bihar: At 3am, a newspaper van from Searchlite Printing Press in Patna sets out in the dark with bundles of Hindustan, the best-selling Hindi daily in Bihar (Hindustan is published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes Mint). It makes its way through a narrow, straight road to Khushrupur, around 40km away, every day. ( Click here to read full story )

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Secrets of successful rural marketeers

New Delhi: How do you sell cooking gas to consumers who are convinced the gas will seep into the food and eventually find its way into their stomachs? That’s no laughing matter. That is the kind of consumer mindset marketing professionals often have to overcome in rural areas. Cultural and economic diversity, geographically dispersed markets, poor infrastructure and inaccessibility to conventional media pose other challenges. ( Click here to read full story )

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The rural consumer myth - II

New Delhi: The recent media attention paid to the rural economy would make it seem as if the rural consumer is a different Indian altogether. But this is not such an open-and-shut case. ( Click here to read full story )

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The rural consumer myth - I

There is a worrying groundswell of optimism that rural consumers will come to the rescue of an Indian economy which is in the midst of a sharp slowdown. This optimism may be misplaced. ( Click here to read full story )

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World in my village, courtesy DishTV

Jorhat (Assam): Dipanjali Kurmi can’t take her eyes off the Discovery and National Geographic television channels these days. The reason: This 21-year-old Adivasi girl from Boroera village near Titabor town in Assam wants to know about the countries where her cousins live— cousins whose names she doesn’t know and whom she has never met. ( Click here to read full story )

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Why smart companies want a piece of heartland happiness

New Delhi: Sitting on a cushion in one corner of his 15x20ft shop in busy Seepri bazaar in Jhansi, Shyam Babu Pandey shouts out to an assistant the household items on a customer’s shopping list. Jhansi, best known for the valorous 19th century queen Rani Laxmibai, is a so-called tier-II town in Uttar Pradesh, and for marketeers, it is an epitome of rural India. ( Click here to read full story )

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Mother of all rural marketing schemes

Khurrampur, Uttar Pradesh: What worries Gita Devi most about her business is not the economic slowdown but the tea that her neighbours are drinking. “They’re drinking City Gold and Tata Tea," she tells Dharmender Mishra, her supervisor. “And they sing their praises. Why don’t they like Brooke Bond then?" ( Click here to read full story )

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