Photo by Maggie Andresen, an incredible photojournalist, during the IWMF Rwanda reporting trip in September 2019.

I am Sarita Santoshini, an independent journalist based in India, seeking out urgent stories in under-reported regions. I report on gender, social justice, and global health & development for publications like Al Jazeera English, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, CityLab, The New Humanitarian, The Fuller Project, and The Caravan, among others.

I’ve received grants and fellowships from the International Women’s Media Foundation, International Reporting Project, and Bitch Media to work on in-depth pieces from India and East Africa.

I graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, with a Bachelor’s in mass media in 2013.
Born and raised in the tea gardens of upper Assam and having lived across the country for education, I speak Hindi, Assamese, Odiya, and passable Bengali.

Awards and Fellowships


Special Mention at the ACJ Awards for Social Impact Journalism for a piece on the impact of the residential schooling system on young Adivasi people in Odisha, published in Fifty Two.


Received a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s (IWMF) Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists to report on a project from the Indian state of Odisha. It includes a deep-dive, published in Fifty Two, into residential schools that are newly funded by mining companies and are systemically eroding hundreds of thousands of Adivasi children’s connections to their land, identity, and community — echoing the violent history of such schools in Canada and the United States.


Shortlisted for the True Story Award for a piece on the systemic discrimination and exploitation that Adivasi girls studying in residential schools in Odisha face, published in IndiaSpend.


Received a fellowship from the IWMF to report on the intersection of malaria eradication and gender in Rwanda. During my three weeks in the country, I also focused on reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion.

Recognised in London as one of three finalists of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2019 — a highlight of the UK Foreign Press Association’s annual awards. The recognition was for three pieces: on women being indiscriminately affected by the process to identify illegal immigrants in the state of Assam, published in The World, on survivors as the experts in the fight against child trafficking, published in The CSMonitor, and the influential role of the church and a faith-based group in the HIV and drug abuse epidemic in the remote, border state of Mizoram, published in Foreign Policy.

Finalist of the South Asia Journalists Association (SAJA) awards in the category of outstanding enterprise reporting about South Asia or the worldwide South Asian diaspora for a piece on the HIV and drug abuse epidemic in Mizoram, published in Foreign Policy.


Finalist of the SAJA awards in the category of outstanding piece of non-fiction writing about South Asia for a piece on women’s politics and protest in northeast India, published in The Development Set.

Received the 2nd prize in the best article category of the Press Institute of India and the International Committee of the Red Cross’ annual awards on humanitarian reporting. The theme for the 2018 edition of the awards was “changing people’s lives through innovation in health and sanitation” for which a piece on an effort to reduce maternal deaths in Assam, published in IndiaSpend, was recognised.

Received the Population First’s Laadli Media Awards for gender sensitivity for a long-form print feature on the trafficked children of Silchar’s red-light area and how authorities failed them, published in The Caravan magazine. The piece was reported over a period of eight months.

Attended a week-long reporting workshop organised in New Delhi by the Thomsons Reuters Foundation on “Caring for Vulnerable Children in a Fractured World” which focused on issues of institutionalisation and community care.


Received a grant from the International Reporting Project (IRP) to report on gender rights in northern Uganda and spent a month working on a reporting project there. I wrote about the South Sudanese refugee girls for whom education is everything and the women who are moving past insurgency by baking cakes, among other stories.


Selected as the 2016 Bitch Media Writing Fellow in Reproductive Rights & Justice, and wrote about men’s crucial role in the fight for reproductive health, the need for inclusive sex education in India, and young girls’ access to reproductive healthcare, among other issues, for the non-profit feminist publication as part of the same.


To commission a story, share ideas and feedback, or just say hello, please reach me at sarita.santoshini@gmail.com.