"Bear witness to the truth"
With masters in English literature, post graduate diploma in journalism and LL.B from Delhi University, Anto Akkara has been a journalist with international media for a quarter century. The journalist author who firmly believes that 'the pen is mightier than the sword' has reported extensively from hotspots in South Asia on human rights concerns, religious issues and social problems.
He has covered extensively from the ground the massive Gujarat earthquake, 2004 tsunami devastation, Sri Lankan war, oppression in Myanmar, and birth of democracy and devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015. In the process, he was won a dozen national and international media awards.
In 1992, he won the ‘Media in your Country Award of International Network of Young Journalists for his article on the plight of the media caught between the devil and the deep sea in troubled Kashmir, and travelled to Brazil to receive the award. He won the ‘Media in your Continent Award in 1995 of Geneva-based UCIP.
While the Mumbai-based Examiner weekly conferred its Silver Pen Award to Anto on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Indian Independence, Anto was chosen for the Raoul Follereau Award of AIFO Foundation in Italy instituted in memory of a valiant journalist – from worldwide nominations for his committed reporting on stigmatized lepers, AIDS infected and social concerns.
He has to his credit several 'leader' articles for the Times of India - like ‘tribals are not museum pieces’, ‘open prison called Myanmar’ and ‘Lankan landmine’ etc - on sensitive topics and his international investigative reports have been carried even in Washington Post and New York Times.
For his ‘stellar work’ on Kandhamal conflagration in Odisha state in eastern India, Akkara was conferred the prestigious Titus Brandsma Award for Journalism 2013, instituted in memory of a Dutch journalist Titus Brandsma who was incarcerated for writing an editorial against Hitler and died in the Dachau concentration camp in 1942.