Citizen Matters serves as a knowledge exchange with insightful reports on critical urban issues, ideas and solutions for cities, diving deep into issues which affect our quality of life, including water, commute, public safety, air quality, governance, education, environment, local economy and more.

We bring together civic media, data and diverse voices to help citizens build sustainable, equitable and liveable cities.

Our work is supported by Oorvani Foundation, a non-profit trust that works on open knowledge platforms for civic engagement and community revitalisation. Oorvani Foundation also supports Open City, an urban data platform that enables data driven decision making.

Citizen Matters was founded by Subramaniam Vincent and Meera K in 2008.

Why this initiative?

India has 10 cities with 3 million+ population and 50+ cities with a million+ population. Our cities are marked by poor quality of governance, environment, civic provisions and lack of equitable access to resources. Bad public infrastructure and service delivery, be it transport, water supply, roads, or schooling has ensured the everyday life of citizens is painful.

These urban challenges need collective action to fix them. Action has to be based on a deep understanding of issues and root causes, and changemaking. Citizen Matters provides the information, the understanding and the tools for citizens to become changemakers.

#impact

Team

Arathi Manay Yajaman supports the Mumbai chapter of Citizen Matters as a Community Anchor. She is also a market research professional and financial consultant, and has rich experience in local civic matters and community volunteering – citizens’ problems, apartment management, waste management, lake management and the like. 

She was a national-level basketball player in her college days and still participates in veterans basketball and athletics. 

Aruna Natarajan is a Staff Reporter at Citizen Matters. She lives in Chennai and writes about everyday issues and the systems that contribute to them through an urban lens.  Aruna is an Economics graduate and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism.

Before moving to civic journalism, she enjoyed stints at a think-tank and an NGO working in sports for development. She is interested in politics, policy, sports and movies. She enjoys reading and playing fantasy football.

N Bhanutej’s career in journalism spans 26 years, beginning with The Times of India, and across The Indian Express, The Week magazine, Al Jazeera and The Economic Times. As a member of The Week’s investigative team, he produced many talking-point cover stories: the hoax of narco-analysis, mysterious deaths in nuclear establishments, how Indira Gandhi hushed up a nuclear leak, illegal mining in Bellary, to name a few. As city editor with The Economic Times, he anchored coverage of civic issues for the business daily, an experiment that brought more readers to the paper. 

A keen photographer and wildlife watcher, he penned the script for ‘Wild Dog Diaries’, an award-winning documentary produced for the National Geographic channel in 2006. 

Ekta is the Engagement Lead at Citizen Matters. She closely tracks developments in the urban space and engages with voluntary organisations and civic action groups working in areas such as water and waste management, sustainability initiatives, migration, mobility, and livelihood. 

Ekta holds a Masters in Development from APU.  She enjoys working with young people and facilitates workshops and seminars in her free time. She also enjoys mobile photography, and boasting about Bengaluru’s gorgeous weather. 

Navya has 12 years of experience in journalism, covering development, urban governance and education. She was earlier Senior Journalist, Citizen Matters, and Reporter, The New Indian Express. She has also freelanced for publications such as The News Minute, Factor Daily and India Together.

Navya won the All India Environment Journalism Award, 2013 for her investigative series on the environmental violations of an upcoming SEZ in Bengaluru, published in Citizen Matters. She also won the PII-UNICEF fellowship in 2016 to report on child rights in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Navya has an MA in Political Studies (JNU), and a PG Diploma from the Asian College of Journalism. She enjoys travelling and exploring new places, and is always looking for new interests to dabble in.

Raksha Kumar is an award winning multimedia journalist, focusing on human rights and gender. Since 2011, she has reported from 11 countries across the world and a hundred districts in India. She is also a documentary filmmaker, a Fulbright Scholar and a Chevening Fellow. She was the joint winner of Chameli Devi Jain award, 2015-16 for her work on land acquisition and forest rights. 

Raksha is the Consulting Editor of our Mumbai Chapter, a role in which she intends to capture the Mumbai madness in its entirety.  She is a keen follower of interesting recipes and rare films

Satarupa has over 16 years of editorial and content experience across a variety of genres and formats. Apart from overall editorial oversight and participation in key editorial policy-making at Citizen Matters, she ideates, edits and occasionally writes stories for the National edition of the magazine. She is also presently the editor of the Chennai chapter. She holds a Masters degree in Economics from Calcutta University and keenly follows social and development initiatives across cities in India. 

Outside of work, Satarupa loves good old classical fiction and dabbling in culinary experiments. 

T R Gopalakrishnan (TRG/Gopal) is the former Editor-In-Charge of The Week, the country’s leading English weekly newsmagazine, based in Cochin. During his 35-year stint at The Week, 29 of them as its editor, the magazine reached its highest ever circulation as per ABC. As the editor, he had overall responsibility for content selection and presentation, managing an all India editorial team of 90+ journalists. Prior to this, he worked at the Motherland, followed by stints at India Today and Hindustan Times.  

In his spare time, TRG likes to read and travel. 

Awards

2015

Citizen Matters  was one of three finalists in the first ever ‪#‎innovationforgood‬ award, instituted by the Centre for Work, Technology and Social Change in collaboration with SASNET at Lund University, Sweden. We received the honorary prize at the Media and Innovation Days Conference on December 9th, at New Delhi.
Citizen Matters co-founder Subramaniam (Subbu) Vincent won the John S Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for 2015-16. He is working on ways to let civic activists and urban experts systematically help newsrooms like Citizen Matters track what is happening in the city — when journalists start to report on a topic, they are fully informed and armed with the collective wisdom of the community.

2014

Citizen Matters was declared the joint winner of the Manthan Award – South Asia and Asia Pacific, instituted by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, in the e-News & Journalism category.
Citizen Matters received the Manthan Award South West India, instituted by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, in the e-News & Journalism category, for creating an online resource of news and independent coverage.
Citizen Matters won the Namma Bengaluru Award for 2013 in the Media Organisation category.

2013

Navya PK, former staff journalist at Citizen Matters was awarded the All India Environmental Journalism Competition award for her series of exposes on the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project by Mantri Developers coming up on the Bellandur wetland – Mantri’s 72 acre project encroaching Rajakaluve: IISc Report, published on May 31, 2013.

2012

Vaishnavi Vittal, former staff journalist at Citizen Matters, won the Laadli Media Award for the best Web Investigative report – Government ignores us because we aren’t educated and rich.

Citizen Matters was a finalist for Namma Bengaluru Awards, 2012.

2010

Citizen Matters was a finalist for Namma Bengaluru Awards, 2010.

2009

Supriya Khandekar, a Citizen Matters’ journalist was awarded the Young Development Journalist of the year in 2008-09, instituted by Asian Development Bank Institute, at Tokyo, Japan, for her report on the women of Gollehalli, Women of a lesser society.

2007

The idea of Citizen Matters was shortlisted by the Knight News Challenge, USA in 2007 for innovative digital ideas in community news. Citizen Matters was beta-launched in 2008.

Recognition