point Return

Why is GoodNewsIndia not being updated?

Many regular readers of GoodNewsIndia [GNI] have wondered why this
site has not been updated since 2006. The simple answer is this: the
one-man team, that is me, D V Sridharan that publishes GNI is busy
with a land restoration project christened, pointReturn . It
will need my undivided time and attention at least till 2010;
that leaves me with little time or energy to travel and do stories for
GNI as I have done since 2000. So work on the site is temporarily
suspended.

That is the reason. But there is a connecting story behind how I came to undertake pointReturn. In case you are interested, do pull up a chair and listen. It’s a long one, and I must caution, somewhat opinionated. 

GNI was begun at a time when India was getting bad treatment in media. In order to avert drowning myself in the depressing news, I needed to go and discover whatever good there was at large in this land. And I found much. I found people and organisations working away with commitment and without too much money.

My stories were about two broad types. One set of projects was conceived from the beginning to become self-sustaining, which I shall call SS-projects. Holistic land based, environmentally sound projects were of this type. The other type usually served a humanitarian need and required steady inflow of funds. As they seemed to constantly fight a fire instead of ever able to douse it, I shall call them fire fighting or FF-projects. Orphanages, special education centres and gender issues are typical FF-projects. I covered several other type of stories too. Generally the idea was to show-case anyone or any work that added value to India as a nation. I hoped these stories would inspire many to jump in and take initiatives of their own.

GNI stories began to be popular. I got numerous mails that were appreciative of my work. Online debates in forums cited GNI stories to support arguments. Many other sites linked to GNI. Mails arrived with requests to reproduce stories. I noticed a great number of readers of GNI came from among young Indians abroad. Quite a few met me in Chennai during their visits home.

Slowly mainstream media too took notice of GNI. The genre of positive journalism that GNI pioneered, if I may so claim, found some room in media. BBC made a mention of the site. Without any publicity,
the readership grew. People signed up to receive alerts when the site
was updated. The list grew steadily until it crossed 5,000 in 2006.

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