Diversification strategies

The lack of a certain kind of diversity in visible India is a fact that has been deplored often enough, with remarkably little being done about it. Well meaning moves for affirmative action all too often end up as good efforts with little outcome. The less well meaning moves are so imbued in political computations that they almost destroy the institutions they set out to bolster...

Navayana, the publishers for social change, bring the AVARNA Fellowships with an aim to increasing diversity in publishing. Having made their mark with a series of stunning books on the issue of caste- Namdeo Dhasal's poetry, Kancha Ilaiah's Turning the Pot, Dilip Menon's Blindness of Insight, and most recently Anand Teltumbde's Khairlanji - they now seek to facilitate the training of dalits/adivasis through the PG Certificate Course in Editing and Publishing conducted by the School of Cultural Texts and Records (SCTR), Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Known as Edit-Pub, this four-month self-financed course, in its fourth year now, has had a successful rate of placement (75 percent) in the publishing industry.

Navayana’s AVARNA (अवर्ण ) program will be a pioneering initiative towards ensuring editorial diversity in the publishing industry in India. Dalit and adivasi applicants, below 35 years of age, must email their CVs along with a 300-word note on their interest in books and why they wish to pursue a career in publishing to avarna.navayana@gmail.com before 28 November 2008. Ten short-listed applicants have to appear for a screening test on 22 December 2008 in Kolkata. Candidates from outside Kolkata will be provided return train fare to attend the test.

The Navayana Fellowship comes with a stipend of Rs 5000 per month plus the course fees. And the goodwill of Navayana, who will also help in the placement of successful candidates in mainstream/alternative publishing houses. The course is for four months from January 2009 and further details can be got from www.navayana.org.