Nashik-based journalist Maya Muktai has been gifted a car by Serum Institute of India head Cyrus Poonawala, a day after a Mid-Day report on her journey from being a ragpicker to a video journalist who represented India at a UN climate conference in 2010, the paper on Friday.
Maya was handed over a Maruti Suzuki S-Presso by Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation head Jaswinder Narang on behalf of Poonawalla to help her report on problems faced by villagers around Nashik, according to the report.
“This car will not only save me a lot of time, energy and money, but it will also be constant encouragement for me to do more,” the 34-year-old told Mid-Day. The video journalist also reportedly wrote to Poonawalla, saying that “I assure you that I’ll keep working even harder from here onwards”.
Maya was married off at the age of 13 and ended up as a rag-picker to make ends meet, according to the report. She joined the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat in 2003 and signed up for their training programmes. She was eventually selected to represent India at the 2010 UN Climate Change conference in China. She also undertook a training programme for videography and became part of the Video Volunteers in 2013.
Journalist Jyoti Punwani for Mid-Day in January.
The video journalist also thanked the paper and the Network for Women in the Media, which had shortlisted her for its 2021 Fellowship, awarded to journalists in need of support who work in tough situations.