Reporting Grant for Nepal Earthquake

Man Bahadur Gurung, 79, lost his home in the earthquake.  Anup Kaphle / BuzzFeed News

The South Asian Journalists Association is thrilled to announce the recipients of the SAJA Reporting Grant on Nepal. 

Sonia Narang​ (PRI's The World) and Bhrikuti Rai​ (for The Los Angeles Times) will report on stories related to the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal this past April.

Thank you to everyone who sent in their proposals, and congratulations to Sonia and Bhrikuti.


The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is giving up to $5,000 in reporting grant to freelancers and newsroom journalists based in North America to do in-depth feature reporting on Nepal after the earthquake.

Preference will be given to journalists who plan to report from outside of Kathmandu city on issues related to health, children, women, and more specifically on access to roads in remote villages, access to temporary shelters, sustainability, water and sanitation, and the impact of trauma and infectious diseases.

Note: Non-U.S. journalists can apply, as long as they have a note from editors in North American publications showing interest in their work.

To apply for the grant, email ** with "SAJA NEPAL REPORTING GRANT" in the subject line, and the following:

• Proposed story idea description, in no more than 350 words.
• Preliminary budget estimate that includes a breakdown of costs.
• Samples of previously published work, either print, online or broadcast.
• A note from an editor showing interest in publication of your story.
• Resume

We're no longer taking applications for this reporting grant.

Questions to Anup Kaphle, SAJA Fellowships Chair: anupkaphle [at]

For the regular SAJA Reporting Fellowship applications, go here.

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FINANCIAL GOALS: In order to assure long-term financing for the fellowships program, we are targeting an initial fundraising effort of $100,000 or more. We plan to raise the money through fundraising events, donations and contributions from individuals and foundations, and other sources.

We need your support!

Make a tax-deductible to SAJA Group Inc in one of two ways.

1. Make an online contribution using your credit card.
2. Mail a check payable to "SAJA Group Inc" ("SAJA Reporting Fellowships" in the memo line) to SAJA Group, Inc, c/o John Laxmi, Treasurer, 19 Einsenhower Road, Closter, NJ 07624; 
e-mail: johnlaxmisaja at

SAJA Group, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization (EIN: 55-0844632) and is registered with the State of New York Charities Bureau (Registration Number 20-70-28). Please send any funding questions to

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the SAJA Reporting Fellowship (SRF) open to journalists not based in the United States?

A. The SRF is open to all journalists, anywhere in the world, as long as the proposal is about South Asia or the South Asian Diaspora. The finished work must also be published, aired or posted online by a US or Canadian publication, broadcaster or Website.

Q. What projects are being considered for the SRF?

A. Generally, we are looking for projects that cover topical and important issues that have either not been covered in-depth or not covered at all by the mainstream U.S. media.

Q. How much money will I receive for this fellowship if I were to win?

A. The fellowship is awarding up to $20,000 this year. Each project, however, is likely to receive between $3,000 and $7,000 at SAJA's discretion. If a winning proposal requires additional support, the SAJA board has the discretion to provide more funding.

Q. I am a freelancer. How important is the letter of support from a U.S. or Canadian publication showing interest in the piece?

A. It is a critical component of the application package. Without that letter, your proposal will be considered incomplete.

Q. I work for a South Asia-based media company. Do I need a letter of interest from a U.S. or Canadian publication or can I just run the piece in my publication in South Asia?

A. One of the main goals of the SRF is to bring strong coverage of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora to North American audiences. SAJA assumes that publications in South Asia cover that region regularly. Therefore, it is critical that journalists working for South Asia-based media find a U.S. or Canadian market for their proposals. A letter from an editor of a North American media organization showing support and strong interest in the proposal is REQUIRED.

Q. I will need to purchase equipment--like cameras, hard drives, audio recorders, etc.--to successfully complete this project. Will the SRF pay for such equipment?

A. The fellowship does NOT pay for big-ticket electronic items. It will, however, pay for Flash Memory up to $200.

Q. I work for a North America-based media outlet. Why do I need to submit a letter of support from my editor?

A. You need to submit a letter of support from your editor to assure SAJA that your employer will support your endeavors. This support could can be in the form of 1) additional financial support to complete the reporting; 2) giving you time to travel to complete the reporting; 3) setting aside time from your daily work obligations to complete the reporting and writing required to complete the project.

Q. Why does the media outlet that first publishes the work have to agree to let other organizations republish the work after an initial, exclusive run?

A. The goal of the SRF is to bring awareness to the widest possible North American audiences about an important issue about South Asia or the South Asian Diaspora. Therefore, SAJA gives first-run exclusivity, but then wants to disseminate the work more widely after that period. SAJA asks subsequent publications to credit both the SRF and the original media outlet that ran the piece.

Q. If I have applied before, can I apply again?

A. Yes, you may apply again. SAJA recommends, however, that if you did not win previously, you re-conceptualize your proposal to give it a fresh perspective.

Q. Can I apply by the deadline but submit required material after the deadline?

A. NO. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

Q. Does it matter how well the application is written?

A. Yes. It indicates to SAJA how serious you are about your work, your attitude toward this fellowship, and your drive to successfully publish the reportage.

Q. Can I submit several proposals?

A. Yes, as long as each proposal is self-contained with ALL the required material.

Q. Can a team submit a proposal team?

A. Yes, a team may submit a project. Keep in mind, however, that a team of more than 2 or 3 will require more travel expenses. In that case, the team may need to find other funding support.

Q. Which countries are considered to be part of South Asia?

A. South Asia is the all-encompassing term for the Indian Subcontinent. South Asia is distinct from East and Southeast Asia. The seven countries of South Asia are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The SRF, however, will also consider proposals about Afghanistan.

Q. What does SAJA define as the South Asian Diaspora?

A. The SAJA stylebook defines it as follows: Because of the British colonial legacy and large-scale immigration, there are substantial pockets of people of South Asian origin scattered around the world (besides South Asia, of course). In some cases--Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago--South Asians make up at least 35 percent of the population. Other countries with large South Asian communities: Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The government of India puts the size of the Diaspora at more than 20 million. There are more than 2 million South Asians in the United States. Stories about the South Asian Diaspora in these countries as well as more recent settlements will be considered.

Q. When is the deadline?

A. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.


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