About Gaon Connection & Why Gaon Connection

Gaon Connection is an effort to give voice to rural India.

“In an era where India’s media industry concentrates on the urban concerns, Gaon Connection strives to give rural citizens a voice of their own,”
Neelesh Misra

Gaon Connection is India's biggest rural media platform, a two-way street that takes information to knowledge-starved rural communities and brings information about everything from problems to role models from media-dark areas to urban India.

  • We create content customised for the rural citizens.
  • We create innovative outreach mechanisms to directly reach rural citizens
  • We work with brands and government to take their message to rural citizens

Our Verticals

Gaon Connection has several key verticals which includes digital, video content, print, audio content, India's biggest rural media survey team, and a massive ground presence of smartphone-armed cadres at the district, block and gram panchayat levels. Together, it is a combination unmatched in India's media landscape.

Awards & Recognition

Gaon Connection is currently working across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand and soon expanding its content footprint to all Hindi speaking states. It has won some of India's highest journalism awards including, twice, the Ramnath Goenka Award, and five times, the UPFPA-backed Ladli Award for writing on gender


Swayam Project

The bedrock of Gaon Connection is it swiftly expanding cadre of digital-era community journalists who are part of its "Swayam Project". They are multiskilled, creating videos, audio content, community newspaper editions and carrying out ground activation across farflung geographies. They are part of a pyramid that has team leaders at the Block and District level, and in Lucknow where the Swayam Project editorial team rewrites, edits and packages the stories and publishes them.

OTHER AWARDS

We are privileged to have won major journalism awards and earned acclaim for our work. Founder Neelesh Misra and Associate Editor Manish Mishra have won India’s biggest journalism honour, the Ramnath Goenka Award for 2012 in the category “Uncovering Invisible India”.

  • Editor-in-Chief Dr. S B Misra won the UNFPA-backed Laadli Award in “Best Editorial” category for North India.
  • Roving Writer Anu Singh Choudhary won the Ramnath Goenka Award for her work in 2013 in the category of Sports Journalism.
  • Britain’s Thomson Foundation selected Gaon Connection Principal Correspondent among 12 journalists from developing countries for high quality journalism.
  • In April 2015, Germany’s radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle selected the Gaon Connection website among 14 worldwide websites hailed for “Best Online Activism” in the “Social Change” category.
  • Laadli award for writing on gender (five times in all) won, apart from the editor in chief, by Anu Singh Choudhary, Shrinkhala Pandey and Devanshu Mani Tripathi.

Partners

Gaon Connection’s partners so far have included Google, PayTM, Tata Motors, Tata Trusts, UNICEF, Unilever brands, TVS, Star TV, Zee, Caterpillar, Birla Cement, etc. With tremendous ground reach, Gaon Connection last year organised the Swayam Festival, India’s biggest ever rural activation in the media sector with 1,000 GPS-mapped events across 25 districts in seven days

MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS

Gaon Connection has had hugely successful media partnerships, including with:

  • Doordarshan: With a primetime show on DD National called “Gaon Connection”.
  • Aaj Tak: With a show that broke new ground with the first-ever show dedicated to rural India on India’s No. 1 news channel, called “Aaj Tak Ka Gaon Connection”
  • Quint: A unique show format that uncovers pivotal issuesthat were never talked about: The Neelesh Misra show .

Here’s founder Neelesh Misra talking about why Gaon Connection does what it does, and its longterm vision