On the eve of 62nd death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, a first-of-its-kind media school was launched by Union minister Thaawarchand Gehlot to train Dalit and tribal youth in journalism. The media school, Dr Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar School of Media Empowerment (ASME), supported by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), will have its branches in Pune, Assam, Uttarakhand and other regions. The Pune branch is set to begin shortly.
Assuring full co-operation from the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the minister said that the media school was an effort to encourage the youth belonging to marginalised segments to find their place through the profession of journalism.
“I urge that journalism and media training be also brought under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal scheme where underprivileged youth get hands-on training in this field like other trades,” he said.
The school inspired by Ambedkar it aims to help Dalit and tribal youth join mainstream media as presently their number in media is abysmally low in comparison to their nationwide real population, a statement said. “While media refuses to give them reservation, it is an effort to encourage the youth belonging to these marginalised segments to find their place through the might of pen,” it said.
“To empower youth belonging to marginalised, deprived and exploited sections of the society so that they may use media as an instrument to bring changes in the society and raise the voice of the voiceless millions,” reads the mission of the school as mentioned in its website.
The website also elaborates on the vision of the school as, “to use media and create an equal and just society. Our pathway is inspired by the vision of Dr B R Ambedkar and Pt Deendayal Upadhyay to achieve this aim in a peaceful and calm manner simultaneously educating and training the youth to serve Mother India”.
The media school will offer courses in Television Journalism, Radio Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, 3 D Animation and Visual Effects and Make-up and Hairstyling.
Senior BJP leader Tarun Vijay said students belonging to economically marginalised sections of the society will be given 100 per cent fee waiver.
The money will be collected through crowd funding and deserving candidates from weaker sections will be given free education, he said.