Gangtok: Gangtok: Journalists Ajay Agarwal and Isabella Gurung were conferred with the Ram Patro Memorial Award 2019 in Gangtok on Friday.
The award, constituted in memory of Sikkim Express and Himali Bela founder Ram Patro, is presented by the publishers to its journalists in recognition of his or her dedication and service through journalism.
While Agarwal was bestowed with the award for ‘Excellence in Journalism’, Gurung got the ‘Best Working Journalist’ award for this year.
Addressing the gathering, chief guest Ram Karki, MP and former minister of Nepal, highlighted the role played by media towards society and the objective of creating an informed society. He also recollected his days spent in Sikkim in the 1990s where he briefly worked for Himali Bela. He also shared his memories while working with Ram Patro.
Guest of honour Karma Paljor, the editor-in-chief of EastMojo, shared his thoughts on the current media scenario driven by social media and called for the need to do in-depth data-based journalism. “We must not forget our role as the gatekeeper of the society,” he said while urging journalists to be expedient in countering fake news in social media platforms.
He further shared his journalism journey and urged the media persons to rise and quit lazy journalism.
Awardee Ajay Agarwal thanked the Ram Patro Memorial Award committee for recognising his work.
Agarwal, 45, works for the digital news platform, Sikkim Chronicle. He started his journalism with The Voice of Sikkim nine years ago. “The award has given me more responsibility and encouragement to work harder and serve the society through my profession as a journalist,” he said.
Agarwal is a resident of MG Marg.
Similarly, Isabella Gurung expressed her happiness on receiving the award. She thanked the award committee for recognising her hard work. She hails from Dowhill, Kurseong and has a Master’s in mass communication from Sikkim University.
Sikkim Express also felicitated technical staff Ram Shakal Sharma for his dedicated service to the publication.
Sikkim Express editor Amit Patro placed the welcome address while vote of thanks was presented by Himali Bela associate editor Rupesh Sharma.
The event was attended by members of the Sikkim media fraternity, representatives of various social organisations and invited guests.