• Svran-Apeejay Journalism Foundation

  • About Us

    The Svran-Apeejay Journalism Foundation’s mission is to selectively intervene in the journalism eco-system to support quality. Selective intervention allows the foundation to have the maximum impact while not duplicating the efforts of others. The foundation is politically, philosophically, and ideologically agnostic, and supports the inclusion of thoughts and ideas from a diverse range of sources.

  • The Grant

    The program of SAJF is to provide strings free grants to eligible journalists to pursue a story in long form to be published in any medium (print, video, digital, etc.) which are positive (enlightening) in nature about India or any of its sub-regions. The foundation is offering four grants a year of INR 3,00,000 each distributed over six months (INR 50,000 per month).

    Strings free means

    • All copyright and work product belongs to the author alone.
    • Money can be spent on everything from travel to research materials at the discretion of the recipient.
    • The foundation, its panelists, advisors, observers, employees, associates, and affiliates do not endorse any work product or particular journalist.
  • Panelists / Advisors

    grant applications are force ranked and judged by our eminent panelists and advisors

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    Aditya Berlia

    Founder / Convener SAJF

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    Abhijay Chopra

    Punjab Kesari

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    Anant Goenka

    Indian Express

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    Anant Nath

    Editor, Delhi Press - Caravan Magazine

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    Ashok Ogra

    Director AIMC, Ex-VP Discovery India

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    Dhaval Gupta


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    Mariam Mathew

    Malayala Manorama

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    Maheshwer Peri

    Careers 360, Ex-Outlook India

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    Nikhil Pahwa


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    Ravi Agrawal

    Author, Journalist, & TV Producer

    Ex- New Delhi Bureau Chief, CNN

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    Shyatto Raha

    Founder & MD, InnoCirc Ventures

    Ex- CEO, NDTV Worldwide

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    Shreyasi Goenka

    Zee News Digital, DNA Newspaper

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    Akshay Kothari

    Head LinkedIn India, Co-Founder Pulse News

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    Rishi Darda

    Lokmat Media

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    Bharat Gupta

    Jagran New Media

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    Nikhil Kumar Kanekal

    Deccan Herald

  • Recent Grants

    Anuradha Sharma (2023)

    Ms. Anuradha Sharma is an accomplished freelance journalist with over two decades of experience in the field. Serving as the India correspondent for Reporters Without Borders and an India Analyst for media startup Newsreel Asia, she has consistently demonstrated a keen eye for uncovering stories of social significance.


    Her project explores the dynamic intersection of daily life at the Saraswatipur tea estate in the Terai region of West Bengal with the unexpected emergence of rugby as a transformative force. Through meticulous research and firsthand accounts, she illuminates the journeys of over 400 young individuals, predominantly girls from tribal and Nepali-speaking communities, who have embraced rugby as a pathway to a brighter future. This project is a remarkable tale of resilience and empowerment within India's rugby revolution, with a particular focus on marginalized youths using the sport as a means to combat poverty.

    Rayees Ramzan (2023)

    Mr. Rayees Ramzan is a passionate journalist from the beautiful region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. With a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, Rayees is currently working as a freelance journalist while also studying for his master's degree.


    Rayees's upcoming project focuses on the inspiring stories of “Women in Kashmir” who are making a difference. He'll share how these women are breaking barriers and succeeding in fields like business, sports, leadership, and art. Rayees will illuminate the transformative impact of central-sponsored welfare schemes and women self-help groups in empowering these women and reshaping societal norms.


    Using his video format storytelling, he will tell six amazing stories, each capturing the resilience and triumph of Kashmiri women on their journey to empowerment and ensuring that these stories of resilience and triumph reach the hearts and minds of audiences far and wide.

    Sunaina Kumar (2019)

    Ms. Sunaina Kumar is a New Delhi based independent journalist whose works have appeared in the Guardian, Al-Jazeera, BBC, The Atlantic, Mint, IndiaSpend and Scroll.in. She had been reporting and editing for close to 15+ years before this, for the Indian Express, Open Magazine and Tehelka.


    For her project , she will work on the role of self-help groups in India and their connection with the political and social empowerment of rural women.

    Bhavya Dore (2019)

    Ms. Bhavya Dore is a Mumbai based freelance journalist writing on sports, gender and culture. She was a full-time journalist with the Hindustan Times for five years prior to her stint as a freelancer.


    For her project, she will work on a series of stories of women and sports in India. This will include dimensions like the evolution of fanship, and the broader role for women in positions of leadership, officialdom and administration as well as stories of women athletes and teams.

    Nitindra Nath Bandyopadhyay (2018)

    Mr. Nitindra Bandyopadhyay is a developmental and health, reporter, who has worked for publications like The Pioneer, Hindustan Times, New-Indian Express and The Bangalore Mirror. He has reported from different corners of the country on different social issues with a focus on Women and Child Development.


    For this project, he will explore the reach of the government’s Mental Health Program and its impact on the rural community in general and farmer’s suicide in particular along the drought-prone regions of Karnataka. The focus of the study is to explore farmer’s suicide from a mental health perspective.


    As a part of the project a series of stories will be published over a period of time detailing the interventions introduced under the Mental Health Policy, especially the promotion of community participation in detecting mental ailment to work as a deterrent to suicide, so that same approach could be replicated across the country to bring down the burden of suicides.



    Pawan Dhall (2017)

    Mr. Pawan Dhall has worked as a sub-editor and features writer with ‘Business Standard’ and other publications in India and abroad on current affairs and social development issues.


    For his project, Mr. Dhall will write and publish stories to trace the impact of the earliest years of queer activism in eastern India through the life stories of a few gay/lesbian individuals who lived in the region in the early and mid-1990s and were influenced by the nascent community mobilization efforts of those years.


    These stories will provide an insight in the functioning of the queer support groups and how the outreach through media and letters helped them grow as emotional support providers, information resources, and eventually as community education, research, and advocacy forums.

    Dr. Radheshyam Jadhav (2017)

    Dr. Radheshyam Jadhav is a development communication researcher – journalist for last 18 years and has experience of working with The Maharashtra Herald, The Indian Express and The Times of India.


    For his project Dr. Jadhav will research and publish stories in a book about women farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Rooted deep in local culture and tradition, women farmers in these regions are engaged in developing agricultural paradigms and models that have emerged as an alternative to patriarchal dominant agricultural system. Through these stories based on empowerment journalism model, he aims to bring out an affirmative side of agrarian crisis in these regions wherein despite all the odds, humiliation, and pressures by patriarchal society, these women through their innovations in agriculture are changing the lives of their kids and other family members.

  • Eligibility

    professional journalists who need support to go the extra mile.


    1. Minimum 5 years as a professional journalist in India. (as defined as journalism being major or main source of income).
    2. Minimum 2 years working in a recognized outlets on stories.

    Professional Eligibility can be waived if a NOC / Recommendation is given by any two panelists. The option to upload NOC letters / e-mails is provided for in the online application.


    1. Proposed story must be positive (enlightening) in nature and be about India or one of its sub-regions.
    2. The story must be substantial in content and depth and not simply a short article, video, or post.
  • General Judging Criteria

    • How impactful would the end product be?
    • What is the likelihood that the work product would be completed in six months?  
    • Is the money being used efficiently and to the maximum effect? 
    • Is this a story that has not been covered before or has not been covered thoroughly enough? 

    For keeping objectivity the names of the applicants and their backgrounds would not be shared with the panel. Should anyone on the panel wish to contact the applicant separately, provided the applicant has earlier consented in the application, the introduction would be made.

  • Application Process

    Applications for grants are accepted twice a year, with two grants being given at the end of each application process. Applications are of around two pages, must be filled online, and must meet the eligibility criteria of the grant.


    Please click here to download the updated FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).


    Please click here to apply for Svarn Apeejay Journalism Foundation Grant.

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  • FAQs

    When can I apply?

    As of now, we have already given 8 Grants. The online applications are invited for next 2 grants and will be accepted till May 31, 2024.


    How can I apply?

    Applications needs to be submitted online by May 31, 2024 midnight. Click here to apply


    What does positive (enlightening) mean?

    We are looking for stories that tell us something more about India or one of its sub-regions. It does not mean we are looking for propaganda stories or only “feel-good” stories. Rather the intention is to illuminate without prejudice, judgment or agenda.


    What languages can the story be in?

    The story can be in English or any one of India’s official languages. The grant application, however, must be filled in English.


    What medium can I use?

    You can use any medium of storytelling including print, digital, video, book, online, etc.


    Can I use the grant to fund a website or start-up?

    No. The grant is meant for a single project of substance, and not to create a new publishing platform. The exception is one time “digital installations.”


    What can the grant money be spent on?

    The grant money can be spent on any reasonable activity or to acquire access to any resource which is directly connected to the story. While the money is directly transferred to the awardee, the foundation has a reasonable expectation of the money being spent in the manner that is described in the application and reserves the right to ask for an accounting to verify.


    Can a company or organization apply for the grant?

    No. Grants are meant for individual journalists only. However in rare case, teams may apply, but the grant will be applied to the principal journalist who qualifies.


    Do I have to be currently working in a recognized outlet?

    No. You need to have at least 2 years (24 months) of prior experience in a recognized outlet.


    What if I do not meet the eligibility criteria?

    If you do not meet the eligibility criteria you can still apply for the grant by:

    1) Obtaining a simple “NOC” letter from any two of the panelists. The letter/e-mail should be addressed to the foundation with the line (or equivalent) “I hereby give my no objection for _name of applicant___ to apply for the Svran-Apeejay Foundation grant.” All such letters/e-mails are verified with the panelists.

    2) In the case we have missed a journalism platform or organization of repute in our recognized list, please do feel free to make the case in the application.


    Do you publish or provide publishing support?

    The foundation does not promise or guarantee any publishing support upon awarding the grant. However upon completion of the story/work assuming the content is of superior quality, the foundation is happy to provide support.


    Does it have to be about the physical geography of India or its sub-regions?

    No. It can include individuals or phenomenon. However, there must be a very clear and direct link to India or its sub-regions.


    Can the story be about any industry or field?

    Yes. The story can be around any industry or field as long is it has a very clear and direct link to India or its sub-regions.


    What is the time limit?

    We expect most stories and projects to not go beyond six months in the timeline. However in rare cases with proper justification, we would be willing to extend up to a year.


    Who owns the copyright?

    The author owns the copyright of the work at all time.


    How flexible are you?

    We are willing to be very flexible and innovative. However, we expect all such flexibility to be properly and logically explained in the application.

  • Contact Us

    any questions? concerns? suggestions? feel free to reach out!

  • Disclaimer

    SAJF, its advisors, panelists, observers, employees, members, affiliates, and associates do not endorse any journalist or works done by a journalist. Getting a grant does not equate an endorsement of the work or author, and the foundation reserves the right to publicly disassociate itself with any work product. The journalist may not use the foundation’s name, or the names of anyone associated with the foundation without permission in writing.