Shillong: Tridip K Mandal, a journalist with The Quint, brought laurels to his media house and Shillong when he won the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for his wonderful documentary ‘Diaries From the Detention Camps of Assam’.

Mandal is a resident of Shillong and a graduate in Mass Communication from St Anthony’s College. Expressing happiness at the award, Mandal said receiving the RNG award is the best thing that can happen to a journalist in India. He added that he had been reporting on issues in the NE for long, and to be recognised at last feels great.

Speaking with EastMojo, Mandal recalled the challenges faced when working on the documentary. He mentioned that ensuring stories of both communities (Hindu and Muslim), who have been affected because of the Assam NRC, was a bit of a challenge since there were a lot of narratives that mostly Muslims were in detention camps, which was not the case. He also recalled another challenge: finding the detention camps, since most people with whom he interacted weren’t sure if the camps existed or not. Even the government denied constructing such camps. While working on the documentary, Mandal and The Quint were the first to trace the camps.

When asked how he came about the idea of working on the story, Mandal said that this is a story in which he was personally invested. “I had to go through the whole NRC process, even my family members had to prove our Indian Citizenship, and sadly, my wife is still not in the NRC. For this story, I didn’t need a lead because our family was the story,” Mandal told EastMojo.

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