Four UAE-based Indian journalists win 12th Chiranthana Media Awards


The 12th yearly ‘Chiranthana-UAE Exchange Media Awards’ were recently given to four Indian journalists working in the UAE’s print, TV and radio media.

P V Vivekanand, senior editor of Gulf Today, Elvis Chummar, Middle East head of Jaihind TV, E Satheesh, Middle East news bureau head of Asianet TV and Radio in Dubai and Sindhu Baiju, news editor at the Arabian Radio Network-owned Hit 96.7 Malayalam FM station in Dubai were the winners of the media awards.

The awards were presented at an iftar function on Tuesday attended by Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, Chief Operating Officer, (Global Operations) of UAE Exchange LLC.

The four award winners were selected for their contribution to the welfare of the Indian expatriate community in the UAE, by airing their woes and grievances in effective ways that helped the poor and low-income sections of society.

The award includes a gold medal and a memento.

P V Vivekanand, a senior Gulf journalist, started his career as a proof reader with Jordan Times in Amman in 1978 and rose to become front page editor of the newspaper at the height of the Lebanese civil war. He also worked as a media consultant for the United Nations in the mid-1980s. He covered the Lebanese civil war, Iran-Iraq war and conflicts in Somalia and Afghanistan before moving to Bahrain and then to the UAE.

He was given the 12th edition of Chiranathana Media Award for his contributions to Gulf journalism and his seniority. 

This is the second time a journalist working in the UAE’s English media has received the Chiranthana Media Award, after Emirates 24|7 won the award last year.

The media awards were instituted by Chiranthana Samskarika Vedi (Chiranthana Cultural Forum) which was formed in 2000 to promote cultural and literary activities of the Indian community in UAE. 

E Satheesh, who heads the Dubai bureau of Asianet TV Middle East and Asianet Radio, won the 12th Chiranthana Award for his reporting of the London Olympics. His weekly current affairs programme ‘Gulf Round Up’ has helped many Keralite expatriates facing problems in the Gulf.

Another award winner Elvis Chummar has been a journalist for the past 15 years. He was selected for the award for his reports that helped 176 Indian workers stranded in Sonapur, Dubai after their employer absconded.

Currently president of Indian Media Forum UAE, an association of Indian journalists in the UAE, Elvis has worked with the Malayala Manorama newspaper in India and Middle East.

His weekly current affairs programme ‘Middle East This Week’, which touches various aspects of expatriate life in the Gulf, has completed 225 episodes. He has also produced special reports about suicides in the Indian community.

Sindhu Baiju, an RJ and news editor of Hit 96.7 FM Malayalam radio, has been with the Arabian Radio Network for the past six years. Through her radio programmes, she has often given voice to helpless Keralite expats.

The award committee was headed by Mohammed Ali Punnakkan, president of the Chiranthana Cultural Forum.