The monthly Development Magazine in English, Hindi and Oriya for rural resurgence, addressing the issues of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, food, tribal upliftment, urban poor, women, health, education and nutrition.
Friday, September 12, 2014
'सोपानSTEP': an introduction
‘Sopan-Step’ is a bilingual monthly magazine in English and Hindi launched by a group of media professionals and grass roots cooperatives that formed a think tank, India Foundation for Rural Development Studies (Infords) based in New Delhi
‘Sopan Step’ is a 48- page multi-colour magazine that has hit the market quietly in September 2005 as a means to empower rural people, cater to their aspirations and link them up with mainstream life and markets.
The content is purely on development issues, sans the hoopla, glamour and hype of usual media houses. For over eight years, ‘Sopan-Step’ has been espousing the cause of rural India. In its journey, the magazine has taken up issue-based campaigns, brought to light success stories, development models and put forth before its 50,000 strong readership the very issues that are bogging rural India.
From basic bread and butter issues like electricity, roads, water, land resources and forest produce, issues that have been highlighted include women trafficked across rural India to large gaps in the model of development we pursue for our villages.
The response from readers, intellectuals, voluntary groups, media, social activists and policymakers who are our core constituency of readership has been overwhelming and encouraging.
As the Foundation spread its wings beyond Delhi with dedicated following of about 650 media professionals, ‘Sopan-Step’ gained depth and readership across states. Beginning February 2008, we launched the English – Oriya edition of ‘Sopan-Step’ from Bhubaneshwar. State Chief Minister Mr Naveen Pattanaik unveiled the first issue of ‘Sopan-Step’ on February 3, 2008. Intellectuals, policymakers, media professionals and all stakeholders in development sector were in attendance to support the entry of ‘Sopan-Step’ in Orissa.
‘Sopan-Step’ is our way of empowering the powerless and lending voice to rural poor that till now seemed voiceless. About 70 percent of revenues from the magazine are routed to support our childcare programmes run by Infords in Delhi and outside.
‘Sopan Step’ is a subscription-based magazine where profits is not the motive and run as not-for-profit venture in social sector by media professionals and social sector organizations having large stake in rural India.
‘Sopan Step’ that’s run professionally is empanelled with Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) last three years. Our initiative is supported with advertisements from Government of India, its departments, ministries and publicity wings. ‘Sopan Step’ also has the support of private, public sector companies and cooperative that has a stake in rural India.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) units of several companies, trusts and donor organizations are associated with ‘Sopan Step’ in space buying, marketing, subscriptions and other projects of Infords.
‘Sopan Step’ is regarded as a virgin media venture in rural markets that remain unexplored to a large extent from development perspective.
Several professionals from media, corporate and social sector have come forward to support this unique venture that’s carving out a niche market for itself.