Pankaj Dhungel, the Sikkim correspondent for EastMojo, has received the Ram Patro Memorial Award for 2022 for his contribution to journalism.

The Ram Patro Memorial Awards, started in 2005, is a tribute to the contributions and lasting legacy of late Shri Ram Patro, the founder of Sikkim Express and Himali Bela, two English and Nepali dailies published from Gangtok.

“If we don’t tell our stories, then who will?” questioned Pankaj Dhungel on receiving the 2022 Ram Patro Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism

“The award is a platform through which we endeavour to provide the boost and encouragement to young and upcoming journalistic talents in the state so that the vision and dreams of late Shri Ram Patro is carried on. He always believed that the responsibility for the growth and development of journalism in the state lay with the youth,” the award organisers said in a statement.

From 2005 till 2016, the Ram Patro Memorial Award was presented to the ‘Most Promising Journalist of the State’ (for the then fiscal year), the organisers said.

“In 2017, the Ram Patro Memorial Award selection committee decided that the ambit of the award should be extended to the neighbouring places of Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong where many deserving journalists are working. The name of the award was also changed to Ram Patro Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism,” the organisers added.

Dhungel, who has been associated with EastMojo since 2019, has also worked for other reputed publications like Firstpost, The Wire, LiveMint and the BBC. Dhungel covers environment, politics, health, education and various other beats for EastMojo.

“It is an honour to receive the prestigious Ram Patro Memorial Award, one of the rare privately extended awards for journalists in Sikkim. The award, and the name Ram Patro associated with it, has a long history and is definitive of journalism for almost 50 years of Sikkim’s democracy. The North East, or Sikkim, from the perspective of a journalist has many unexplored stories. And there is a huge possibility for exploration to tell our own stories. If we don’t tell our stories, then who will?” Dhungel said upon receiving the award.

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