Project Description

Create a podcast that gives personal voice to the underserved and suffering in India.


Nergish, India
Nergish, India

While atrocities against the poor and marginalized are often reported by the mainstream press, nuanced profiles capturing one person’s triumphs and struggles are less common. This impersonal portrayal of the lower classes dulls empathy and keeps their stories out of public consciousness.

Create a podcast that gives personal voice to the underserved and suffering in India.

“As a journalist, I see things that put the world in perspective. I choose a topic but not the adventure. I choose a place but not what I’ll find. Fortunately, I like the unpredictability. I like talking to strangers.”

About Nergish
Nergish knew she wanted to be a journalist since she was 15, when she heard Mariane Pearl speak at a Seeds of Peace conference in Manhattan. After graduating from Syracuse in 2010 with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and International Relations, Nergish worked at Tehelka Magazine and Time Out Mumbai before becoming a principal correspondent at Times of India. Her proudest achievements are stories that lead to decisive action in underserved communities. Recent examples include a piece on child labor in illegal mica mines that led to a government crackdown, a piece on exploited Parsi pallbearers that led to their employers acquiescing to wage demands, and a piece on the isolation of border villages, which led to PM Narendra Modi championing the building of a road during a speech in Meghalaya.

Nergish has noticed that there are fewer features and profiles of people living on the margins of society compared to wealthier and more literate subjects. In response, she plans to create an Indian counterpart to This American Life or The Moth, focusing on the personal stories of marginalized individuals that highlight a larger social issue. By telling stories embedded in the culture to which they belong, with a rich world of local details that authentically capture her subjects’ voices and communities, Nergish hopes to draw parts of the country that require urgent attention into public consciousness.

SE Forum is partnering with Seeds of Peace on the 2018 GATHER Fellowship. GATHER is the social innovation arm of Seeds of Peace, investing in alumni and other changemakers who have the greatest potential to effect social, political, and economic change.

Seeds of Peace inspires and cultivates new generations of leaders in communities divided by conflict. Its network now includes nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and the US who are uniquely positioned to lead change. The nonprofit was founded in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn more about the Seeds of Peace journey and its impact here.

More GATHER fellows