SAJA has awarded $40,000 in scholarships to help graduate, undergraduate and high school students pursue their education and future careers in journalism.

The SAJA Scholarships are made possible through generous contributions from the Krishna Kumar Gaur Scholarship Fund, the Arun I & Asmita Bhatia Foundation, and numerous individual and institutional donations. To donate to SAJA and help future scholarship classes:


SAJA Scholarship Program

Goal: To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate-level students to pursue their journalistic education.

Distribution: Up to $20,000 are expected to be distributed to ten students ($2,000 each).

Deadline: April 20, 2020


  • Undergraduates and graduate students continuing their studies in the fall of 2020 can apply for funding for their educational expenses. Students from across the United States, Canada, and South Asia can apply for the scholarships.

  • All applicants must show proof of admission to a North American educational institution in the fall of 2020. Applicants must either be of South Asian descent (includes: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) or demonstrate a keen interest in covering South Asia and/or the diaspora. 

  • Immediate relatives of SAJA Board members and judges are INELIGIBLE to apply

Evaluation Procedure

A committee of judges appointed by the SAJA Board will review the student applications and evaluate them based on need as well as demonstrated interest in journalism (i.e.: related coursework, internships, extracurricular activities, part-time work), written communication skills, , interest and enthusiasm in joining the SAJA community, and serious reflection on what the applicant hopes to accomplish as a journalist. Applicants may be interviewed by phone or in-person by a member of the scholarship committee. Winners will be notified by the end of May 2020.

Award process

Recipients are expected to give back to SAJA by volunteering at the annual convention or one other event during the year. They should commit to promoting SAJA activities, events, membership drive and donation appeals on social media platforms to help SAJA achieve its mission and expand the network.

All recipients of the scholarship and fellowships must also agree to provide an update on their scholastic endeavors and at the conclusion of the academic year. SAJA reserves the right to post these statements or excerpts thereof on the SAJA website and social media platforms to share with the public the impact of our scholarship and awards program


Application deadline: April 20, 2020

Winners announced: May 25, 2020


Send a PDF document to:
Ali I. Rizvi at
with SAJA Scholarship” in the subject line.

The single PDF document MUST include:

1) A resume, including contact information for three references

2) A 350-word essay on why you should be awarded the fund. Non-South Asians should demonstrate their interest in covering South Asia or diaspora.


Those selected to receive scholarships will be required to provide the following information / documents to SAJA prior to being entitled to receive the scholarship amounts:

  1. A U.S. Postal address to which the scholarship check will be physically mailed or details of a US Dollar bank account at a bank branch located in the United States; and

  2. U.S. Treasury Form W-9 or Form W-8BEN

Failure to provide any of the above information / documents on a timely basis could result in revocation of the scholarship.

Each scholarship recipient must consult their own tax advisor on the extent, if any, to which the scholarship amount may be taxable by any of the tax jurisdiction to which they may be subject to.  SAJA does not make any representation as to the taxability or non-taxability of the scholarship amount.

All scholarship amounts will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States government unless the recipient signs a declaration stating that the amount received from SAJA complies with the conditions described by the Internal Revenue Service under the section “Tax-Free” in the rules under Topic Number 421 – Scholarships, Fellowship Grants, and Other Grants (

SAJA Student Scholarship 2018 Winners 

The South Asian Journalists Association is pleased to announce the following winners for this year’s student scholarship fund. SAJA will be awarding $2,000 to each scholarship winner.

Mohammad Ali, Columbia Journalism School

 Mohammad Ali is a staff writer with The Hindu based in New Delhi. He will be attending the MA (Politics & Global Affairs) program at Columbia University, New York in the fall. He has written about communal politics and tracked the growth of Right-wing Hindu nationalism in the hinterlands of North India which preceded and coincided with the rise of Narendra Modi as a Hindutva leader and the Prime Minister of India. He tweets @hindureporter

Anakha Arikara, Columbia Journalism School

Born in California to Indian parents, Anakha Arikara moved to India when she was 13 and was inspired by the diversity and culture she found there. This was the source of her passion for storytelling.  She has written for publications such as Food Lovers, and The Better India, and has also been a scriptwriter and director for visual features.  Anakha will be attending Columbia University in New York City in the fall, to pursue a Master’s degree in Journalism, with a specialization in Documentary film.

Anika Hazra, the University of Illinois at Chicago

Anika Hazra is an ecologist and science communicator transitioning to a career in science journalism. She has a BSc in Ecology with a minor in English from the University of Toronto and an MS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She will be attending New York University in the Fall as an MA student in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She has contributed to various online science news publications, written a video for Ted-ED about insect identification and is a guest host for the podcast Science for the People. You can check out her work here.

Ravleen Kaur, UC Berkeley

Ravleen Kaur is a journalist based in Portland, Oregon. Her work has ranged from reporting on education for Portland-area newspapers to documenting testimonies of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres. This fall, she will begin the Master's program at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she will focus on narrative writing, visual media, and investigative reporting. She's interested in pursuing stories about immigrant communities and diasporic identity along the intersections of race, remembrance, and resilience. She graduated from Portland State University in 2015 with a B.A. in English. Twitter handle: @Ravleen_K

Salina Nasir, UC Berkeley

Salina Nasir is a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area whose reporting has taken her to India. A rising second-year student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, she concentrates her studies on narrative writing and new media. Her recent feature piece on Islamic feminism appears in the San Francisco Magazine, and she is currently writing a piece for HuffPost India that tells the story of a Gurgaon-based female bodybuilder. Twitter: @salinanas

Priyanka Runwal, University of California, Santa Cruz

Priyanka Runwal is an ecologist and works on the socio-ecology of arid grassland and savanna landscapes in India. She is also a freelance science journalist for The Wire and IndiaBioscience and reports on subjects related to biodiversity, ecology, conservation and the environment. She will be attending the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz this Fall. With a Masters in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and 6 years of research experience, she hopes to take advantage of her academic background to bring science from the field and labs to popular media.

Jaya Sundaresh, City University of New York

Jaya Sundaresh is a journalist who hails from Schenectady, New York; she will be attending CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism in the fall. She has written for various publications, including The Aerogram and The Alt Weekly, an alternative weekly based in the Capital Region of New York. Her reporting interests include mass incarceration and policing. She is excited to join CUNY and pursue her dream of being an investigative reporter.

Priyanka Vora, New York University

Priyanka Vora is an award-winning journalist who specializes in health--especially the interaction of new technology and social values and the problems of health care in rural areas and poor communities. Priyanka started reporting at age 19 and has worked for Hindustan Times,Midday and Free Press Journal. Currently, she is a health writer with In 2017, she won the International Centre for Journalists award for Early Childhood Development reporting and the Red Ink Award in India for health reporting for her series on an encephalitis outbreak in a conflict-ridden district of Odisha. 

Apoorva Joshi, Michigan State University

Apoorva Joshi is a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. An interdisciplinary and mixed-methods researcher, she studies environmental journalism, risk communication, environmental policy, and conservation criminology. With a degree in environmental science from the University of Pune and an M.A. in environmental journalism from the University of Montana, Apoorva draws from her experiences as a journalist and a scientist to inform her interdisciplinary doctoral research.

Nandini Rathi, New York University

Nandini Rathi is a journalist from India. After having graduated from Whitman College in Film & Media studies and Politics, she has been living in New Delhi area where she was until recently associated with The Indian Express. She will be attending New York University in the fall and pursuing a joint masters in Journalism and International Relations. Among her several reporting interests are social justice, gender and health. She looks forward to grow immensely as a professional in the next two years.   

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