Dinu Randive Memorial Journalism Award for Olga Tellis
Dinu Randive Memorial Journalism Award 2023 will be presented to Olga Tellis for her five decades of contribution to journalism. Senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar and noted economist Dr. Bhalchandra Mungekar will present the award on Friday, June 16, 2023, at 5:30 pm at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh.
Mumbai, Jun 14 Dinu Randive Memorial Journalism Award 2023 will be presented to Olga Tellis for her five decades of contribution to journalism. Senior journalist and Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar and noted economist Dr. Bhalchandra Mungekar will present the award on Friday, June 16, 2023, at 5:30 pm at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh.
Earlier, senior journalist Pratap Asbe was selected for 2020-21, while the award for 2021-22 went to senior journalist Anant Bagaitkar. The selection committee chaired by Dr. Bhalchandra Mungaekar comprised Mumbai Press Club chairman Gurbir Singh, senior journalists Haaris Shaikh and Prakash Mahadik.
This award in memory of senior journalist and freedom fighter Dinu Ranadive who passed away on 16 June 2020, will be given every year to one senior journalist who has made path-breaking and exemplary contributions in the media field. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a memento.
Olga Tellis has a career in journalism spanning over five decades. Her professional life stretched from a star investigative reporter for the ‘Sunday’ Magazine based in Mumbai to business journalism when she was the Resident Editor of ‘Business & Political Observer,’ to a columnist in the ‘Blitz’ and finally, a consulting editor with The Asian Age.
She made a huge impact on stories that are remembered even today. For instance, her series on insider trading in the Bombay Stock Market had many heads rolling and brought down the over-heated market. She extensively covered the famine years of Maharashtra, following Ahilya Rangnekar on her trail, and was the first to interview Simranjit Singh Mann after he was arrested for assisting the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984.
She had a deep insight into Mumbai’s politics. She took up personal cudgels when A.R. Antulay, as Maharashtra CM, began evicting thousands of pavement dwellers in 1981 from the streets of Mumbai. Her intervention through a PIL in favour of the pavement dwellers won a much-needed stay from the Bombay High Court for the poorest of the poor. She also had a deep understanding of the trade union movement and was the first journalist to project the meteoric rise of Dr Datta Samant in the late 1970 and 1980s.
Olga Tellis perfected the art of breaking news through interviews. She was always the first when political heavyweights like George Fernandes, farmers leader Sharad Joshi, Y.B. Chavan, Congress rebel Sharad Pawar, or Sena supremo Bal Thackeray chose to speak out. Olga, for instance, was the first to project what Bal Thackeray stood for when the rest of the English media was condemning him. Her coverage of the Sharad Joshi-led farmers movement was ground-breaking as it was not done from a city drawing room but from a month of reporting along the Kolhapur-Belgaum Highway.
As a senior journalist, Olga ran a column – ‘Garibi Hatao – My Foot’ in R.K.Karanjia’s ‘Blitz’ weekly for over ten years where she lampooned Indira Gandhi’s slogan ‘Garibi Hatao’ with facts and figures. She retired recently as Consulting Editor of The Asian Age but continues to write and report freelance.