High fashion, fast fashion, and sex.
Luxury travel, budget travel,  or endless travel!
Memes, trending dance steps, humorous and sometimes even dystopic filters.

It's the kind of content that grabs eyeballs online. At PARI we have none of this on offer, yet, we have managed to find and retain an audience in the tangled world of social media. How? Via a pretty obvious but underused technique: factual and powerful storytelling.

As the year ends, we want to share how diverse audiences have responded to our work (watch this short clip too).

Lakhs of followers appreciated our post on The temporary 'chairwomen' of Banswara . It’s a story  by Nilanjana Nandy  about women in Rajasthan who have never sat on chairs or other elevated platforms in the presence of men or elders. The reel on Instagram garnered nearly seven lakh views and . It drew hundreds of comments from women who experienced the same treatment, as well as others who acknowledged how they take these seemingly small actions for granted while some can't even dream of it. Reader Malika Kumar's comment, "It takes a subtle eye to notice such things," is perhaps the biggest compliment to reporting everyday ordinary experiences.

Appreciation helps us go a long way, and readers do so in multiple ways: by telling us how much they learn from these stories and donating to PARI's operations so we can continue to be an independent investigative journalism platform.

In a video about the colourful and chaotic jasmine flower markets of Madurai by Aparna Karthikeyan, readers from around the world said the storytelling brought back so many memories. "So beautifully written. Could almost picture the scene and smell the sweet aroma of malli [jasmine]," says Namrata Kilpadi. What a joy it is to transport people to the places and spaces we report from. None of this would be possible without the everyday experiences of our interviewees.

Our most popular video on Instagram so far is a 30-second clip featuring Suman More, a waste collector from Pune, who speaks about the damning power of words. She questions why women like her are called " kachrewalis " (garbage ladies) when they clean up the citizens' mess. In the clip with 12 lakh views, people lauded her for calling out societal ignorance and apathy. One reader even said, "I will admit that I, too, use the same word [ kachrewali ]. I won't use it again."  It points to how journalism on marginalised communities and their experiences can create a more thoughtful society.

In response to our education programme where we use these stories in classrooms to enhance perspective, Twitter user @Vishnusayswhat said, “When you understand why one person has less than another, and that it has LITTLE to do with how hard they work, that's when you start understanding India a little better.

And the message spreads far and wide — Bollywood icon Zeenat Aman highlighted PARI’s work on her Instagram profile , saying, “I see the evaporation of authentic rural stories from mainstream storytelling, and am aware of how much news space even the most banal celebrity updates occupy.” When done right, however, there’s no denying the power of a celebrity. We gained thousands of keen followers in just 24 hours after her post. Another welcome surprise was when Hollywood actor and entertainer John Cena followed us on Twitter!

But the most heartening kind of response is when the community supports the people from our stories. We are always overwhelmed by the outpouring of offers. In this story about how elderly farmers Subbaiah and Devamma were crushed by mounting medical expenses, readers were able to donate enough to cover a part of the bills and even contribute to their daughter’s wedding. Teenager Varsha Kadam is a promising athlete. Her family’s financial situation and the lack of state support made it tough for her to realise her true potential. Readers offered help via money, running shoes and even training.

Despite the internet being known for its cruelty and unforgivingness, our readers remind us that the world is also full of kindness.

If you haven’t already, you can follow us on the following handles, where we also exist in Hindi, Tamil, and Urdu.

To volunteer with PARI’s social media team write to [email protected]

If the work we do interests you and you would like to contribute to PARI, please write to us at [email protected]. We welcome freelance and independent writers, reporters, photographers, film makers, translators, editors, illustrators and researchers to work with us.

PARI is a not-for-profit and we rely on donations from people who appreciate our multilingual online journal and archive. If you would like to contribute to PARI please click on DONATE .